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Although often overlooked, women are significantly affected by the death penalty for drug offences. Cornell Law School’s recent publication, Judged for More Than Her Crime, on women sentenced to death worldwide, highlighted that drug offences are the second most common crime for which women are sentenced to death, after murder, especially in the Middle East and Asia.
This is especially the case for the most marginalised women, who may resort to working as drug couriers as a consequence of the multiple, intersecting forms of gendered vulnerability they face. Whilst not all women engage in the drug trade due to exploitation, and some do so through their own volition, it is important to highlight the most desperate situations.
This briefing is a collaboration between Harm Reduction International and the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford.