In November 2008, Harm Reduction International’s HR2 programme authored a submission to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The submission – entitled ‘Harm Reduction and Human Rights: The Global Response to Injection-Driven HIV Epidemics’ – was prepared following a call by the High Commissioner’s office for input in preparing a biennial report on HIV and human rights for the Human Rights Council meeting in March 2009.
The submission provides a global overview of the injecting-driven HIV epidemic worldwide, with a particular focus on several key regions. It also examines the human rights implications of the failure to scale-up harm reduction services worldwide, which includes a specific focus on the needs of women and young people. The submission concludes by making a series of recommendations to various UN human rights bodies to increase their engagement with harm reduction and drug policy issues.
Harm Reduction International submission received formal endorsements from a number of harm reduction networks and organisations from around the world – including Actions pour la Citoyenneté et l’Education à la Santé (France), the Asian Harm Reduction Network, Auto Support des Usagers de Drogues (France), the Canadian Harm Reduction Network, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the Caribbean Harm Reduction Coalition, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network, the Global Drug Policy Program (Open Society Institute), Human Rights Watch, Intercambios (Latin America), the International Harm Reduction Development Program (Open Society Institute), the International Nursing Harm Reduction Network, the International Network of People Who Use Drugs, the Middle East and North African Harm Reduction Network, Psicotropicus (Brazil), the Sub-Saharan African Harm Reduction Network, the Thai AIDS Treatment Action Group, the Women’s International Harm Reduction Network and Youth RISE (the youth-led international harm reduction network).