Skip to content
  • Menu
  • About

    About HRI

    HRI is a leading non-governmental organisation working to reduce the negative health, social and human rights impacts of drug use and drug policy by promoting evidence-based public health policies and practices, and human rights based approaches to drugs. Read more about HRI’s history.

    Vision and Mission

    Our vision is a world in which individuals and communities benefit from drug laws, policies and practices that promote health, dignity and human rights.

    Staff

    Meet our staff at HRI

    Governance

    HRI is governed by a nine person Board of Directors, elected for three-year terms of office by our membership at our Annual General Meetings. Read more about HRI governance.

    News and Announcements

    Read the latest announcements and updates from HRI.

    What is harm reduction?

    Harm reduction refers to policies, programmes and practices that aim to reduce the harms associated with the use of psychoactive drugs in people unable or unwilling to stop. The defining features are the focus on the prevention of harm, rather than on the prevention of drug use itself, and the focus on people who continue to use drugs.

    Harm reduction definition and principles in 11 languages

    Contact Us

    Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or queries about our website, our work, membership or the international harm reduction conference.

    Donors

    HRI benefits from the generous support of the Open Society Foundations, the European Commission, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the MAC AIDS Fund, UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Bank, The Robert Carr Networks Fund and the Swiss Government.

    Harm Reduction International Awards

    HRI presents a number of awards at outr international conference to acknowledge the contributions of outstanding groups or individuals in the field.

  • Our Work

    Evidence for advocacy

    HRI produces groundbreaking research and policy analysis informing advocacy across our sector.

    Spending where it matters

    Funding for harm reduction services is dangerously short while billions are wasted on drug enforcement. HRI works to assess resourcing needs and advocates for a reinvestment in health.

    Human rights-based policy

    Human rights abuses and drug enforcement go hand in hand. HRI challenges laws, policies and practices that generate harm.

    Sector strengthening

    HRI builds advocacy coalitions and supports emerging harm reduction networks to strengthen the international harm reduction sector.

    International conference

    Harm reduction is a global movement. Our biennial gathering is the International Harm Reduction Conference, convened by HRI.

  • Global State of Harm Reduction

    Global State of Harm Reduction

    Our flagship publication is the biennial Global State of Harm Reduction report. First published in 2008, it involves a coordinated effort across practitioners, academics, advocates and activists to map global data and responses to HIV and hepatitis C epidemics related to unsafe injecting and non-injecting drug use. It is the only report to provide an independent analysis of the state of harm reduction in the world. The information collated within the report is stored and regularly updated on an interactive e-tool for researchers and advocates.

    The Global State of Harm Reduction report is supplemented by regular thematic reports and advisories on key issues and emerging challenges. Please search our Resource Library for more information or join our e-list for regular updates.

    Interactive e-tool

    Global State of Harm Reduction’ e-tool is an interactive resource containing up-to-date information on harm reduction policy and programming around the world. Users can select countries or regions and create tables for an at-a-glance guide to the current state of harm reduction worldwide.

  • International Conferences

    International Conferences

    The 24th International Harm Reduction Conference 2015 will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 18–21 October, 201

    Sign up for e-updates or visit the website regularly for more information.

    You can still access the 2013 conference site for an idea of what to expect.

    Conference Archive

    Explore past international harm reduction conferences dating back to 2000.

  • Resource Library

    Resource Library

    Use our extensive resource library to search for HRI, NGO and academic reports, articles and presentations, including materials from past international conferences.

    Harm Reduction Journal

    Harm Reduction Journal, www.harmreductionjournal.com, is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal whose focus is on the prevalent patterns of psychoactive drug use, the public policies meant to control them, and the search for effective methods of reducing the adverse medical, public health, and social consequences associated with both drugs and drug policies.

  • Support Us

    Membership & Donations

    HRI is a membership based organisation with over 8,000 members worldwide. Read more about individual and organisational membership here.

    We rely on trusts, grants, membership fees and donations to continue our work. To make a donation or pay membership fees, please use our secure payment page.

    Or why not fundraise for us with ‘Discover Adventure’?

    Contact Us

    Harm Reduction International
    Unit 2C09 Southbank Technopark
    90 London Road
    London
    SE1 6LN  

    Tel: +44(0) 207 717 1592
    Fax: +44 (0) 207 922 8822
    Email: info@ihra.net
    Join us on facebook at: Harm Reduction International
    Or join us on Twitter at: HRInews

    E-Updates

    Sign up to receive email updates, report launches, harm reduction advisories and information about the forthcoming international harm reduction conference

INPUD Statement at UNAIDS PCB meeting, Geneva

Date: 24 June 2009

  • Print
  • Bookmark and Share

This week in Geneva, the Program Coordinating Board (PCB) of UNAIDS is meeting. On the agenda is a discussion on HIV prevention among injection drug users, and there is debate taking place to try and urge explicit support for the term 'harm reduction' in the UNAIDS action points coming out of the session.

During the debate this morning, the International Network of People who Use Drugs made an excellent intervention, which was perpared by Mat Southwell and Erin O’Mara and read out during the plenary session by Mat.

The text of the INPUD statement is below.

'Thank you chair and fellow participants in this UNAIDS PCB and thank you Christian for your clear report. I have the privilege to speak on behalf of the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), a global movement of current and ex drug users.

We would like to extend our thanks to Michel Sidibe for his leadership, vision and humanity. You cannot underestimate the impact when international leaders, such as Michel and Michel Kazatchkine from Global Fund, talk with compassion and understanding about our community. We offer ourselves as partners in our collective march towards Universal Access and Human Rights.

We would like to thank DfID for providing INPUD with its first seed funding and we call on other countries to support our community at a country, regional and global level to take part in the planning and delivery of HIV prevention and treatment, and discussions about wider harm reduction strategies.

We thank the Dutch Government for organising the donors conference earlier this year and we thank UNAIDS for the interim funding that has been key to INPUD’s engagement as an international partner. We thank the World AIDS Campaign, and the International AIDS Alliance, for funding our participation in this meeting, and we note the financial constraints that prevent meaningful representation of people who use drugs from the developing world.

People who use drugs, and our organisations, are part of the solution not the problem. Too often, we are blamed for the policy failures of drug control. In fact, our community has consistently developed and championed public health strategies that improve the health and welfare of our, and the wider, community. For example, the world’s first needle exchange was run by a drug user organisation in Holland, back in 1982, as a response to Hepatitis B. Needle exchange is now a cornerstone of HIV prevention strategies with people who inject drugs.

We call on UN agencies to develop an integrated response to the HIV and Hepatitis C pandemics that are decimating our community. We also call for a more holistic engagement in harm reduction around drug use that recognises the need to also work with non-injecting populations, people who use stimulant drugs, and those at risk of overdosing.

We welcome the new UNODC and WHO programme that will champion Universal Access to Effective Treatment options. We welcome Dr Gerra’s willingness to engage with our community and his public opposition to the use of cruel and degrading practices that occur in the name of drug treatment. We call for research into effective treatments, both psycho-social and medical, for people who use stimulant drugs.

Most people who use drugs, and live with HIV and Hepatitis C, are still unable to access treatment options due to stigma and discrimination. The absence of Opiate Substitution Therapies also makes it harder for people who use drugs to achieve the stability required to access Anti-Retro Viral and Interferon treatments.

We are clearly entering a new chapter with strong and humane leadership from UNAIDs and other key international agencies. People who use drugs must be part of the assessment of the UNAIDS Outcomes. The inclusion of our voices in the planning and review of services is likely to lead to better value for money and more effective outcomes. We believe that interventions with people who use drugs should aim to enable our community members to live full, effective and empowered lives so we can truly be part of the solution rather than being framed as the problem.'

For more information on INPUD's activities, see the new INPUD blog.