Drugreporter and INPUD present the third instalment of an oral history of the movement of people who use drugs. This episode is about the achievement of drug user groups in Germany, Denmark, and Norway.
This year JES network in Germany celebrated its 30th anniversary, and is one of the oldest drug user groups in the world. Dirk Schäffer – a member of the network – tells us how with the support of Deutsche Aidshilfe, the JES drug user network contributed to the availability of harm reduction services in Germany, including drug consumption rooms and heroin prescription programs.
The drug user groups in Denmark and Norway were also crucial to achieve the opening of these kinds of life-saving services in their own countries. The Danish Drug Users Union (Brugerforeningen), under the leadership of Jørgen Kjær, has been a model for drug user organisations all over the world. The drug user groups in Norway, led by Arild Knutsen from the Association for Humane Drug Policy, have changed the drug policy landscape significantly. Drug consumption rooms are available, heroin prescription and other innovative substitution programs are planned, and a major drug policy change is happening right now, with a move away from punitive measures and towards a more humane and evidence based decriminalisation model, based on the experiences of Portugal.
Starting on Monday, 6th of July 2020, we publish one episode per week for 10 weeks. The episodes follow the timeline of the development of the movement of people who use drugs from Amsterdam to Afghanistan and globally.
The production of the series has been a great adventure. We conducted 34 video interviews in 20 countries around the world. 8 interviews were filmed by the Rights Reporter Foundation, the rest by members of our Drugreporter Video Advocacy Network, video activists, and freelance videographers worldwide.
The documentary series is part of the online conference “HIV 2020: Community Reclaiming the Global Response” which runs from July through October of 2020.
An alliance of global key population-led networks, networks of people living with HIV, treatment activists, and our supporters, has formed to organize an alternative international community-led online event.
The HIV2020 alliance has decided to organize the community-led event to provide an alternative for individuals who cannot or will participate in the AIDS2020 virtual conference. Its goal is to offer new opportunities to reaffirm the leading role communities play in the global HIV response.
To view each new episode every Monday, beginning today, visit this page.
This project was made possible by the financial support of the Bridging the Gaps Programme. This unique programme addresses the common challenges faced by sex workers, people who use drugs and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in terms of human rights violations and accessing much-needed HIV and health services. Go to www.hivgaps.org for more information.
István Gábor Takács