Ilona Szabó de Carvalho leads the Igarapé Institute in Rio de Janeiro, which focuses on security and development policy.

Why you should listen

Ilona Szabó de Carvalho is a drug policy and public security specialist with experience from Brazil and around the world. A founder of the Igarapé Institute, a think-and-do tank, she also coordinates the international Global Commission on Drug Policy.

Over the past decade, Ilona has played a central role in triggering debate on progressive approaches to preventing violence, advocating gun control and police reform, and dealing with drugs, pushing for a radical re-examination of key policies. In particular, recognizing that drug prohibition has done little to slake demand for drugs or to reduce profit margins for the cartels (and the armed violence to which they are inexorably linked), de Carvalho believes we should shift the control of drugs from organized crime to governments -- and view abuse as a health problem, not as a criminal offense.

What others say

“Calling the global war on drugs a costly failure, a group of high-profile world leaders is urging the Obama administration and other governments to end ‘the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but do no harm to others.’” — LA Times [on the GCDP, June 1, 2011]

Ilona Szabó de Carvalho’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Ilona Szabó de Carvalho

Live from TEDGlobal

A map of the future: A recap of session 7 of TEDGlobal 2014

October 9, 2014

The theme of this session is “Blueprints.” And so we hear from speakers who have that all-too-easy-to-overlook first step: a plan. Brazil is named for a tree, says Tasso Azevedo. And thus, it is a good place to be a forester. 12% of the world’s forests are in the country, primarily in the Amazon, which plays a vital role in […]

Continue reading