Frédérique Bawin


Unsalaried postdoctoral researcher Ghent University and Analyst SafeBrussels , Ghent University and SafeBrussels

Ghent Belgium


Frédérique Bawin worked from 2015 until 2022 as a (post) doctoral researcher at the Institute for Social Drug Research, Faculty of Law and Criminology, Ghent University (Belgium). She obtained her PhD in Criminology in 2020. The topic of her doctoral thesis concerned medicinal cannabis use. As a post-doctoral researcher she worked on research projects concerning the non-medical use of psychoactive medication and the market and profit analysis of indoor illicit cannabis cultivation and trafficking. Frédérique is currently appointed as part-time Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law and Criminology for the fields Qualitative criminological methods and Drug Policy. She works as an analyst at SafeBrussels, where she conducts analyses on drugs and traffic and smuggling. Her research interests include the nonmedical use of licit and illicit drugs and drug markets.

Toward a responsible drug policy

Drug policies aim to protect societies and their citizens from the risks of drugs and potential harms from the consumption of drugs. However, do traditional repressive strategies such as the so-called War on Drug type policies, succeed in these goals? This presentation summarizes research findings that capture the consequences of a repressive approach for drug users on the one hand, including their health, social well-being, and recreational use, and for drug markets on the other hand, including drug availability, quality of available substances and organised crime. It pays particularly attention to the unintended consequences of War on Drugs policies. This presentation seeks to provide a deeper understanding of the wider impact of drug policies on divergent aspects of society, such as security, economy and ecology. Subsequently, it analyses and reflects on important aspects of responsible drug policies rooted in a human rights approach that promotes health, against the backdrop of recent international reforms, developments and alternative drug policies.