Public health advocacy has been key to advancing harm reduction initiatives around the world over the past twenty years. Harm Reduction International is one of the leading international NGOs coordinating efforts to maintain and expand support for harm reduction within multilateral agencies and international donor organisations.
Effective harm reduction implementation requires not only enhanced and accessible health services that meet the needs of people who use drugs, but also a supportive legal and policy framework within which those programmes operate. For example, punitive approaches to drug control such as harsh sentencing (including the death penalty) and coerced or forced detoxification impede efforts to prevent HIV and other harms among people who use drugs. Therefore, advocating for harm reduction means advocating not only for improved health programmes, but also for legal and policy reform, at both the national and international levels.