(This press release was originally published by Harm Reduction International. The full open letter is attached to the end of this article.)
Harm Reduction International, the International Drug Policy Consortium and the International Network of People Who Use Drugs published open letters today calling on the United Nations’ major human rights and drug control bodies to take all necessary actions to prevent the executions of two individuals convicted of drug trafficking in Bahrain. They were joined by 137 groups from 55 countries, including the International Commission of Jurists and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.
On 28 January 2020, Bahrain’s highest court upheld the death sentences of two Bahraini men convicted of drug trafficking and smuggling, who are now believed to be at imminent risk of execution. In July 2019, Bahrain executed three men who were sentenced in flawed proceedings, drawing widespread international condemnation.
Civil society groups are seeking an urgent response from the newly appointed Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ms. Ghada Fathi Waly, on her first day in the office. They are also seeking responses from the President of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Mr. Cornelis de Joncheere and from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet.
Ms. Giada Girelli, human rights analyst at Harm Reduction International, states “The death penalty does nothing to prevent drug trafficking; in fact, it makes international cooperation impossible. Most states have now understood this. Rather than moving towards the extreme fringe of the international community, Bahrain should re-instate the moratorium on executions in place until 2017.”
INPUD is very excited to launch the Injecting Drug User Implementation Tool Training Manual and accompanying slides.
Developed jointly by UNODC and INPUD, in collaboration with other partners, the guidance document Implementing Comprehensive HIV Programmes with People who Inject Drugs: Practical Approaches from Collaborative Interventions – otherwise known as the Injecting Drug User Implementation Tool (IDUIT) – was published in 2016. It describes how to implement effective programmes and services for HIV and HCV prevention interventions for and with people who inject drugs.
The training manual is designed to support the roll-out of the IDUIT through capacity building at regional, country or local level. It has been developed to facilitate the work of trainers in organising and delivering training and workshops on the IDUIT to communities of people who use drugs to help them serve their own community in line with the evidence based and human rights-based approaches outlined in the IDUIT, and to interact with a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations, including public health and drug policy makers, and harm reduction and HIV programme managers and staff.
The powerpoint presentations, to be shown during the training, are available here:
A Community Position Statement
In recent years, services and options for people with opiate dependence have expanded to include a range of prolonged-release buprenorphine formulations. Although these new options can represent the right solution for some individuals, a significant risk of a coercive use exists, especially in countries where people who use drugs are highly criminalised and discriminated against. In such contexts, these medications could be used as a means to reduce people’s choice with regard to their bodily integrity and their drug use. In return, this could essentially enforce prohibition and morally-driven ideas of abstinence. This paper outlines the position of the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), developed after extensive research and in consultation with people who use drugs and our allies.
On the 10th October, 2019 history was made in Lyon, when governments, philanthropic donors and the private sector pledged US$14 billion for the Sixth Global Fund Replenishment, more than any other global health institution has ever raised. Harm Reduction International, Eurasian Harm Reduction Association, International Network of People Who Use Drugs and the India HIV/AIDS Alliance congratulate the Government of France, the Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) and the broad network of health advocates, academics and policy makers on this tremendous success.
However, this is just the beginning. If the world is truly committed to ending AIDS, a seismic change is needed. We need international donors, increased political will to scale up evidence and rights-based responses such as harm reduction, and most importantly, strong community-led and civil society advocacy which requires investment.
The International Network of People who use Drugs, Harm Reduction International, Eurasian Harm Reduction Association and the India HIV/AIDS Alliance release a joint statement on what is needed to ensure people who use drugs are not left behind.
On 23rd of September, 2019 the United Nations General Assembly will hold a High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The theme of this meeting is “Universal Health Coverage: Moving Together to Build a Healthier World” and ostensibly aims to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage. Given the political momentum generated due to the upcoming HLM on UHC, and the potential for country-level action towards realising universal health coverage, it is important for all drug user rights advocates to stay informed.
This INPUD Technical Brief explains how Universal Health Coverage (UHC) can be both an opportunity and a concern for the health and rights of people who use drugs.
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