Geneva, Switzerland

Global Health, Drugs, Policy and Power

when 24 June 2024 - 28 June 2024
language English
duration 1 week
credits 3 EC
fee CHF 1100

The summer school will address a number of important questions at the heart of international drug policy discussions today. The course will include lectures, case studies, mock debates, group work and more.

Each day of the week will be organised around a specific theme and follow the pattern of

- exploring the historical, sociological and policy perspectives of the particular issue;
- examining what the current human rights, health and social challenges are;
- searching for what global policy and governance set-ups may constitute improved ways of working/solutions for the future.

Human rights, governance and health will constitute cross-cutting themes, that will be addressed as and where relevant to each of the sessions of the week.

By taking part in the Summer School, participants will be able to learn about and understand the inter-relationship between health, drugs and drug use; as well as the need for health and human rights to be at the centre of drug policies.


The Summer school will address the following issues: "understanding drugs and the international drug control framework"; "drug use worldwide”; "addressing drug use and health: prevention, harm reduction and treatment"; "questioning prohibition-based policies"; "medical access to opioids for the management of pain and to other controlled medicines"; and "the case for drug policy reform”.

Students will be able to use the free videos, lectures, exercises and discussions of the MOOC to complement the in-class lectures and discussions.


The Summer School will be taught in English, and the MOOC is available in English, with subtitles in French, Spanish and Russian. The Summer School will be led by two of the members of the Steering Committee of the MOOC (Jennifer Hasselgard-Rowe and Barbara Broers).

Students will have the opportunity of visiting some of the international organisations in Geneva such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNAIDS, including for certain class sessions. A guided visit of the “Quai 9” Drug Consumption Room; and the Heroin Assisted Treatment program at the University Hospitals of Geneva will also form part of the week.

Course leader

The teaching will be carried out by

Jennifer Hasselgard-Rowe
Institute of Global Health
The University of Geneva


Barbara Broers
Faculty of Medicine
University of Geneva

Course aim


The main objectives of the Summer School are for students to:

become familiar with and gain insight into the functioning of international drug control regime and its intersection with public health and human rights ;
acquire a strong understanding of the major health issues related to drug use and drug policy;
develop a clear vision of why drug policy is debated today and what the challenges related to its implementation around the world are.

Credits info

3 EC
Participants will be provided with a Certificate of Completion of the course if they satisfy attendance and evaluation requirements. It is the participant’s responsibility to verify the validity of the course and validate it at their home university prior to participating in the course.

Fee info

CHF 1100: Professionals fee
Tuiton Fees do not include housing or travel.
CHF 900: External students