The Drugreporter video team attended and filmed the International Harm Reduction Conference to learn about the new trends in harm reduction. Please watch our short video and read our article highlighting these trends!
Watch our conference video!
A declaration has been adopted at this year’s International Harm Reduction Conference, called the Kuala Lumpur Declaration (which I encourage you to sign here!) to shed light on the subject, and ensure that the next ten years will be the harm reduction decade. We have promising signs that this can become a reality. Canadian participants were delighted to learn that while they were attending the conference, their country went through a major change, with the opposition Liberals winning a landslide victory over the Conservatives who had ruled the country for the past decade. Since 2006, the Harper government has obstructed every effort to scale up harm reduction services and open new drug consumption rooms. Canadians now have a very good chance that they will live in a harm reduction decade.
Canadian harm reducers celebrate the end of the Harper-era
This year Drugreporter was part of the review group of the International Harm Reduction Conference – our movie on the Room in the 8th District
The only way how we can achieve the sustainable development goals, is to reform our criminal justice systems and decriminalise drug use. And it’s not only about HIV, but about the tremendous suffering caused by persecution, stigma and discrimination directed against people who use drugs. It’s not just drug use that can cause harm to individuals and communities – bad drug policy also harms society. Realising this, the UNODC prepared a paper on the decriminalisation of drug use, which even went as far as to say that those who commit ‘small drug related offenses’ including dealing for personal use or to ‘survive’, should not be punished. However, after pressure from a member state (probably the US), they tried to suppress the document before publication. This is very unfortunate. If the international community shies away from addressing this issue, reforming drug laws, and embracing harm reduction, many countries will see a rapid increase of HIV and hepatitis C among drug users.