Following the publication on 17 May 2019 of the zero draft of the political declaration to be approved at the high-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage, please see a statement co-signed by global HIV, civil society and key population networks from the Free Space Process and the Partnership to Inspire, Transform and Connect the HIV response (PITCH).
We very much hope our concrete recommendations for language in the ongoing intergovernmental consultations - to ensure universal health coverage is strongly grounded in the right to health, equity, solidarity and community participation and engagement - are considered and acted upon.
This report focusses on challenging the stigma and discrimination experienced by individuals who engage in chemsex, in order that they can equitably enjoy the full range of human rights afforded to all people. As with all of INPUD’s community-driven documents, it discusses and documents the human rights, health, wellbeing, and lived realities and experiences of people who use drugs, in this case, people who engage in chemsex. As INPUD’s first document focussing on this community, it draws illustratively from a chemsex consultation undertaken in South Africa by INPUD. Though the focus on one context is a limitation of this consultation and document, the community of people who engage in chemsex in Cape Town has been thriving for well over a decade; the document also supplements relevant perspectives from consultations with communities of people who use drugs in other regions and contexts in order to ground discussions in a global setting.
INPUD hopes that this report is of particular interest to communities who engage in chemsex around the world. It will also be of interest and relevance to a broad range of service providers and health professionals who cater to the unique needs of people who engage in chemsex, people who use and inject drugs, including gay and bisexual men, queer people, trans people, and other communities who engage in chemsex.
INPUD is deeply saddened by the passing of our member, friend, previous Director on our Board, our representative, and our facilitator, Dean Lewis.
Dean was determined to live his life with grace and fire, and in this he succeeded. He was relentlessly and consistently thoughtful and was as generous to people as he was aggravating and demanding of institutions who metered out pain and destruction to his community under the aegis of prohibition. INPUD was so fortunate to have Dean as a member: he nurtured and supported our organisation in the same way he nurtured and supported individuals within our community, understanding fully the importance of the movement. He was widely respected, liked, and loved by his peers and community.
He was a formidable and perceptive advocate: his quiet dignity and personal charm, his nimble mind, rapid articulation, and incisive syntax, all informed his well-earned reputation as a go-to person to represent our communities near and far.
Though Dean had periods of acute ill-health, he bore these with little complaint, much humour, and an incredible stoicism. Even at times when he could not afford to pay for his lifesaving medications, he would patiently wait for circumstances to change and rarely accepted any financial assistance.
Dean moved between very different and diverse worlds: he travelled around the world, representing numerous organisations, staying in large hotels; at times he would go home to India and live in very modest circumstances, identifying as a member of the street-based community.
INPUD's statement for the 62nd Session of the CND emphasises that the way forward must be defined by a commitment to the inalienable human rights and dignity of people who use drugs. This cannot be suspended in the pursuit of a “drug-free” world. Under the principle of common and shared responsibility, we remind member states of their human rights obligations under international law. Finally, in safe-guarding the future, the critical role of communities of people who use drugs should be formally acknowledged in order to ensure that no one is left behind. Read the full statement here.
As individuals and networks of people of use drugs, the International Network of People who use Drugs (INPUD), Asian Network of People who use Drugs (ANPUD), Eurasian Network of People who use Drugs (ENPUD), European Network of People who use Drugs (EuroNPUD) and PLHIV communities (GNP+) have written to urge member states convening at the Ministerial segment of the 62nd session of the CND 2019, who are setting out the next decade of drug policy, to decriminalise drugs and therefore the people that use them, move towards the legal regulation of drugs, respect our human rights and ensure our meaningful involvement in the decisions that affect our lives. Read the full statement below, and download it here.
Statement for Agenda Item 5. Interactive, multi-stakeholder round tables of the ministerial segment:
(a) Taking stock of the implementation of all commitments made to jointly address and counter the world drug problem, in particular in the light of the 2019 target date for the goals set in paragraph 36 of the Political Declaration; analyzing existing and emerging trends, gaps and challenges;
(b) Safeguarding the future: enhancing our efforts to respond to the world drug problem through strengthening international cooperation, including means of implementation, capacity-building and technical assistance, on the basis of common and shared responsibility.
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court defines crime against humanity as ‘a widespread or systematic attack directed against a civilian population’ including ‘the intentional infliction of conditions of life, calculated to bring about the destruction of part of a population’. This is the war on drugs. This is the reality for people who use drugs.
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