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Oct 31, 2007

INPUD Asia @ Regional UNGASS Consultation in Macao

INPUD board member Fredy (IDUSA, Indonesia) represents INPUD at the Regional UNGASS review civil society consultation in Macao

Asian INPUD: Girl X, Very, Fredy, Anan

UNGASS: World Drug Problem

Lindesmith Letter to Kofi Annan

Under the leadership of Ethan Nadelmann, The Lindesmith Center (now the Drug Policy Alliance) coordinated an open letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in anticipation of the 1998 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on the World Drug Problem. Appearing in the New York Times, the letter was signed by over 500 prominent academics, scientists and political leaders. The coalition urged the UN to call off its "failed and futile" policies and instigate "honest dialogue regarding the future of global drug control policies - one in which fear, prejudice and punitive prohibitions yield to common sense, science, public health and human rights." Prominent signatories included former UN chief Javier Perez de Cuellar of Peru, Nobel Laureate and ex-Costa Rican president Oscar Arias, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and U.S. Senators Alan Cranston and Claireborne Pell. The campaign reverberated around the world, gaining major media coverage in more than three dozen countries.


Creating a major obstacle to the introduction of pragmatic and compassionate international drug policies, UNGASS was a disappointing perpetuation of unsuccessful, unrealistic strategies. UNGASS was originally brought together to create a forum for in-depth reflection on the effectiveness and viability of drugs control over the past decade. Despite heated North-South debate in the UN and a high-profile advocacy campaign coordinated by The Lindesmith Center, the inaugural New York meeting merely rehashed unrealistic assurances of a drug free world.

The result was a declaration outlining a so-called 'comprehensive' global strategy for the simultaneous reduction of both illicit supply and demand. The Assembly laid out a mandate for the UN International Drug Control Programme "….to develop strategies with a view to eliminating or significantly reducing the illicit cultivation of the coca bush, the cannabis plant and the opium poppy by the year 2008." The UNGASS motto became, "A Drug Free World - We can do it!"

Eradication operations were aimed at Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, eight of the poorest countries in the world. These countries were expected to pay for a third of the eradication programs and would only receive generous loan opportunities from the World Bank if their anti-drug programs showed success


Four years later, official UN figures show that the use of cannabis, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs has not decreased. HIV/AIDS and hepatitis rates across the globe are soaring; the dimension of the global illegal drugs trade continues to expand; and the environmental, social, and economic impact of crop spraying in Colombia and Bolivia has been disastrous.

Mid-way Review: 2003

Despite clear evidence that the UNGASS plan has failed, an April 2003 mid-term review that brought together ministers and diplomats from the around the world failed to result in meaningful reforms. The critical evaluation component originally requested by Mexico failed to materialize. Prohibitionist ideology and bureaucratic intransigence dominated the review process. Despite optimism over the growing number of European countries that have abandoned the drug war in favor of harm reduction alternatives, European politicians have yet to stand against the US or define an alternative development policy framework for dealing with illicit drug production and trafficking.


Oct 30, 2007


IDUD’ 2007 – ANTWERP, Belgium

Daniel Wolfe (IHRD/OSI) and Milena Naydenova (INPUD)


1st of November – the Day for Remembering the Dead for the society at large and the International Drug Users Day for just a small marginalized part of it.

But IF you think twice there is no big difference in what both society and DU commemorate. In our small marginalized group – the so called DU Community – the Death has become almost a regular guest, a routine – worldwide it stays among us and takes victims in the forms of blood born infections, of ODs, of the uncontrolled substances on the black market, of homelessness, of isolation and despair, of constant harassment, of incarcerations, and many, many other …

And IF you can spare just a second more and ask yourself: “What is the unforgivable crime all these people have done to deserve all this?” and IF you are fair enough the simplicity and the ridiculousness of the answer might even chock you, because the only crime of all these people is that they somehow have been unable to manage too well with the Drug Free Lifestyle.

But obviously there are too many IF s. People do not think twice and can not see the simple truth. They just believe in emotional roaring slogans: War On Drugs !!!, Zero Tolerance!!!, as in the same time remain blind for the massive damage all these policies impose in any area of public life - the public taxes are uselessly spent on fruitless and nonworking policies, the public health-care system collapses in countries where the IV drug use driven HIV epidemics spread in an uncontrollable manner, the public law-enforcement and public court systems get overloaded with insignificant drug-use related case that leave no space for persecuting the real criminals in the drug war – the ones that support the flourish of the organized crime and the corruption on the topmost political levels.

Everybody will agree that the experts’ research and the evidence-based data should be the grounds for enacting policies, not the emotional reactions on the laic majority. And we have the experts’ research, the evidence-based data, and uncountable indisputable proofs that the more harsh the laws on drugs become the more severe problems and damage they create – starting from the measured in billions profits from the black market of drugs, all of the logical outcomes as economically strong organized crime, corruption at all levels, high rates of drug use related crimes, incarcerations, that solve nothing but only create new criminals, more taxpayers money in court system and more ruined lives … Situation that should immediately arise the logical question: Why then the PROHIBITION still exists and continues to escalate?

The answer is as obvious as the contradiction of the good wishes with the reality. The PROHIBITION suits everybody. All parties involved in the illegal drug market get their billion-measured profits, and which is even more suitable - the society gets its public enemy – the DRUG USERS – usual suspects to be blamed for everything that goes wrong. And if the lives of some, even many people, have to be sacrificed to please the silent majority – let it be! Cruel, sad, but truth …

The only answer we can give to this outrageous attitude is: “Stop Blacksheeping Us!” The criminalization is what made us criminals, not our substance dependency. Stop with the blacksheeping of the people who use drugs - it only creates fear, the fear leads to hatred, isolation and repressions, which result in an escalating vicious circle of terror, rights abuse, harassment, restrictions, increased criminality, police raids, more fear, more hatred, lost civil liberties, lost dignity, lost humanity…. No solutions are needed for artificially created non-existing problems – they can only create bigger mess and confusion.

This is the simple message the DU in Antwerp will deliver to their fellow citizens on November, the 1st– the day all of us will remember our dead loved ones. But this time we will not only remember but also will honor the useless deaths of our peers – the victims in the most fruitless and absurd war ever lead – the war on drugs that even grew into a war on the people who use drugs. And if we manage to make people hear our message and think even for a moment over it – their deaths might even be not so useless and the prohibition fueling and breaking-point will be revealed - the Blacksheeping of the People who Use Drugs!!!

Miena Naydenova, INPUD member

Antwerp, Belgium, 2007


2007 International DP Reform Conference "Time for a New Bottom Line"

5-8 December 2007
New Orleans, Louisiana

Policy challenges & challenging policies ...

(Drug Policy Alliance)

If current drug policies have failed (and clearly they have) . . . what next?

This conference is the world's principal gathering of people who believe the "War on Drugs" is doing more harm than good. No better opportunity exists to learn about drug policy and to strategize and mobilize for reform.

The conference will address a wide range of policy, legal, political and scientific issues including:

  • Drug Sentencing Reform

  • Drug User Organizing (with Matt, Louis, Berne and Stijn!)

  • Treatment

  • Drug Testing

  • Race and the Drug War

  • Marijuana

  • HIV, Hep C and Overdose Prevention

  • International Developments

  • Drug Education

  • Entheogens-Science, Spirituality and Law

  • Alternatives to Prohibition

  • Pragmatic Steps for Ending the Drug War

Register now . . .

Reduced registration fees in effect until 5 November

For full information, please visit the conference website:


Oct 29, 2007

Seeking Comments on "Greater Involvement" Manifest

Stijn (Belgium), Matt (USA) and Alexander (Russia)

Dear friends and colleagues,

As you may know, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, with support from OSI’s International Harm Reduction Development Program and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, is preparing two new editions of their report Nothing About Us Without Us: Greater, Meaningful Involvement of People Who Use Illegal Drugs. One new edition is specifically for the former Soviet Union, and one is more broadly international (the original report was primarily focused on Canada). Along with the report itself, it includes a Manifesto, the original version of which was written by people who use drugs from Canadian organizations.

A number of you participated in previous discussions for the international edition, for example at the consultation we organized in Warsaw during this year’s harm reduction conference, or in the discussion of part of the project that Ann Livingston and I moderated during the 2nd Users Congress. The international edition is now nearing completion, and we are especially interested in getting additional comments about the Manifesto. The latest copy is attached to this message.

We welcome any and all comments, suggestions or questions, and ask only that you respond to this address: idu-udi-int@aidslaw.caThis e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it not later than November 20, 2007.

Matt Curtis (IHRD) and Ralf Jürgens (Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network)

Read the document here:


Reply to this message on the INPUD forum


1st newsletter Harm Reduction 2008 (Barcelona)

Harm Reduction 2008, Barcelona

Jeff Lazarus (WHO) and Ernst Buning (Q4Q and IHRA)

Dear Harm Reductionists from around the world,

Welcome to the first conference e-newsletter – bringing you the latest news and updates from IHRA’s 19th international conference. With only 28 weeks left until the event opens in Barcelona, these e-newsletters will keep you up to date with all the latest information regarding the programme, registrations, satellite events, travel information and so on.

The conference website - - is updated on a regular basis, so please visit it whenever you can and check the ‘Latest Updates’ box on the homepage.

Best Regards,

The Conference Team

arrow Welcome

arrow ‘Harm Reduction 2008’ Delegate Fees Announced

arrow Abstract Submission: Only a Few Weeks Left!

arrow Sponsorship, Exhibition and Advertising Opportunities

arrow Nominations Invited for 2008 IHRA Awards

arrow 5th International Drugs and Harm Reduction Film Festival

arrow 2008 Harm Reduction Training Academy


Oct 28, 2007

CUP: Crack Users Project

Street Health is a community-based health care organization in Toronto that provides services to address a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional needs for people who are homeless, poor, and socially marginalized. Street Health’s program areas include nursing care, mental health support, street outreach, HIV/AIDS prevention, Hepatitis C support, and identification replacement and storage.

The Crack Users Project (CUP) is a capacity-building initiative, developed by Street Health and Regent Park Community Health Centre, with the goal of reducing the harms associated with the use of crack cocaine among users in southeast downtown Toronto.

The project’s objectives are to:
increase communication with and among marginalized crack users; build capacity among crack users to develop and implement peer-led, crack-specific harm reduction strategies; and to improve access to physical and mental health services for this group.

CUP began in October 2005 with its first drop-in specifically for crack users. In less than two years CUP had created a unique and welcoming space for crack users in southeast downtown Toronto who face social marginalization, extreme poverty, housing instability and severe health problems. CUP has already had a positive impact for participants who report an improved sense
of self-worth, greater awareness of crack issues and safer crack use practice, increased sense of
community, a reduction in crack use, and a more positive outlook on life, since they began participating in the project.

The purpose of this manual is to share what we have learned in our experiences of the CUP project thus far and to provide other community-based organizations who are working with marginalized drug users with a starting place from which to replicate this project.

While we realize that across Canada, harm reduction programs with marginalized drug users are immensely varied in terms of structure, resources, underlying assumptions and values, and because programs are diverse in terms of level of peer involvement, setting, political context and other factors; what may work in one context may not be successful or even possible in another. Still, we hope that in the following guidelines, offered based on our experiences of running the CUP program, there will some common understandings and central elements from which others can learn, and adapt to their own situations.

Oct 25, 2007

Alcohol Harm Reduction network launched by IHRA

Dear Colleagues,

IHRA are pleased to announce the launch of a new network and website dedicated to the topic of alcohol harm reduction:

The Global Alcohol Harm Reduction Network – GAHR-Net - will provide a forum for researchers, advocates, practitioners, policy makers and communities to discuss practical alcohol harm reduction interventions and policy options. Through this network and the website, IHRA aims to develop a sense of belonging and community - connecting those who support or practice alcohol harm reduction and allowing for information exchange, the sharing of best practice and experiences, and discussions around key issues in the field. This is part of IHRA’s on-going commitment to promote harm reduction for all psychoactive substances.

Membership of this network is free, so please visit for more information and to join. Please feel free to circulate this message to any contacts you have and any networks or groups that you are in.

Please contact me if you have any alcohol harm reduction events, research, news or resources that you would like to promote via this website and network.

Best Regards,

Jamie Bridge

Communications and Project Development Officer

International Harm Reduction Association

40 Bermondsey Street (2nd Floor)



United Kingdom

Ph: +44 (0) 207 94 07 512


HARM REDUCTION 2008: IHRA's 19th International Conference

11 - 15 May 2008; Barcelona, Spain

'Promoting harm reduction on a global basis'


Oct 24, 2007

Antwerp Drug Users Organizations Invite: November 1st IDUD

I D U D ’ 2 0 0 7

Een nieuw team van belangenbehartigers van druggebruikers nodigt iedereen uit :

druggebruikers en vertegenwoordigers van andere gemarginaliseerde groepen, professionelen, journalisten, politici, beleidsmakers en de brede samenleving, om deel te nemen aan de herdenkingsdag

1 NOVEMBER – “International Drug Users Day”

Het evenement vind plaats op 1 november 2007 van 2 tot 4 uur op het Coninksplein in Antwerpen onder de slogan:

Stop het zwartschapen van druggebruikers”

of bezoek de spreekplaats in ‘tVlot, Lange Beeldekensstraat 20, 2060 Anwerpen, elke laatste vrijdag van de maand van 14.30u tot 17.30u

Klik onderstaande links voor de platvormtekst en de poster/flyer:

“Stop Het Zwartschapen Van Druggebruikers”

IDUD Flyer

IDUD Poster



ENCOD vzw, Trekt Uw Plant vzw, Breakline Peer Support vzw

Gesteund door:

DAK vzw, De Pleingroep, BastA!

De Ketelpatrouille vzw, MSOC Free Clinic


IDUD 2007 "Stop Het Zwartschapen Van Druggebruikers!"

International Drug Users Day (1 november 2007)



Een nieuw team van belangenbehartigers van druggebruikers nodigt iedereen uit, druggebruikers en vertegenwoordigers van andere gemarginaliseerde groepen, professionelen, journalisten, politici, beleidsmakers en de brede samenleving, om deel te nemen aan "International Drug Users Day".

Het evenement vind plaats op 1 november 2007 van 2 tot 4 uur op het De Coninckplein in Antwerpen onder de slogan "stop het zwartschapen van druggebruikers".

In elke grootstad huizen er in het centrum en in de buurt van de stations straatbewoners waaronder druggebruikers. Zo ook in de Antwerpse stationsbuurt en het De Coninckplein. Deze mensen leven op en rond de pleintjes en hebben het niet makkelijk door een aaneenschakeling van factoren zoals kansarmoede, gezondheidsproblemen, werkloosheid, eenzaamheid, ontgoocheling, dakloosheid en sociale uitsluiting. Ze behoren tot de meest kwetsbare groepen in deze gemeenschap.

Het beleid en de media wijzen deze mensen echter aan als daders van onveiligheid. In het kader van de strijd tegen drugsoverlast stapelen politionele acties zich op. Mensen werden voortdurend verplicht zich te legitimeren. Verbale intimidaties van de kant van de politie waren schering en inslag. En daar bleef het niet bij. Mensen werden ook tegen de straat gegooid en ook op andere manieren fysiek aangepakt, zonder dat ze enige wet of reglement hadden overtreden. Zonder dat ze enige vorm van overlast veroorzaakten.

Naast toespraken en getuigenissen van direct betrokken personen worden er tijdens de manifestatie op 1 november ook flyers verspreid met daarop richtlijnen en meer gedetailleerde informatie over hoe je zelf klacht kan indienen als je slachtoffer werd. Je kan vervolgens ook een vragenlijst invullen en meewerken aan een veel breder onderzoek dat betrouwbare gegevens verzameld over publieke opinie en patronen van mensenrechtenschendingen in België.

Druggebruikers hebben rechten zoals iedereen die wetten en reglementen respecteert. Net als elke andere inwoner van de stad Antwerpen!

Op deze dag herdenken en eren we al de overledenen en slachtoffers van het onmenselijke en repressieve drugsbeleid en het zero tolerance beleid tegen onze peers: mensen die drugs gebruiken.

Georganiseerd door de Antwerpse organisaties van mensen die drugs gebruiken:


Trekt Uw Plant vzw , Breakline Peer Support vzw,

Steunpunt Antwerpse Druggebruikers (STAD) , Gebruikers Overleg Antwerpen(GOA),

Gesteund door:

DAK vzw, De Pleingroep, BastA!

De Ketelpatrouille vzw, MSOC Free Clinic


Oct 22, 2007

"Coming of Age": What it means for Asia

Eurasian INPUD:
Fredy (Indonesia) and Stijn (Belgium)

Pascal Tanguay, Thailand

From May 12 to 17, I attended the International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm in Warsaw, Poland. The theme for this year’s event was "coming of age" - fitting indeed for 18-year-old conference.

But what exactly did "coming of age" mean? And what, in particular, did it mean for Asia? I asked the opinion of many people at the conference and also discussed the matter with many who didn’t attend.

In the words of International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) executive director, Gerry Stimson, the conference represented "an opportunity to reflect on the many harm reduction achievements, to examine the existing problems and failures, and to look forward to the next decades of harm reduction on a global basis."

According to Stimson’s remarks during the opening ceremony, "coming of age" means facing a bigger and brighter future.

"IHRA is pleased to announce at this conference a major new programme of policy analysis and advocacy, funded by the UK Department for International Development. This collaboration between IHRA and harm reduction networks aims to create a global environment conducive for harm reduction," Stimson said.

IHRA’s overall strategy for activities under a generous DID grant was discussed with representatives from the most important global harm reduction organisations. The association’s thrust to widen the harm reduction agenda to incorporate issues related to human rights and development as well as sex work, stimulant drugs, alcohol and tobacco was also a focus.
A mechanism under the new program will seek to provide support to, and work more closely with, existing regional and other harm reduction networks and coalitions all over the world, including the possibility of developments in sub-Saharan Africa.

Jamie Bridge, IHRA’s communications and development officer, said that the conference discussions reflected the fact that the harm reduction movement had reached a significant crossroad.

"At the moment, the movement has the opportunity to innovate or become complacent and die . . . In the past few days alone, we’ve seen the International Youth Harm Reduction Network, the International Network of People Who Use Drugs, the Middle East North African Harm Reduction Network as well as the International Network of Harm Reduction Nurses emerge and take a seat at the table with us and other key stakeholders," Bridge said.

While the IHRA is barely 10 years old, Bridge said the 'coming of age' slogan was relevant to the new drive for cooperation, which could be likened to a brand new social experience.
But for some Asian advocates and harm reduction workers, the term 'coming of age' has a completely different meaning. Fredy, an Indonesian member of the International Network of People who Use Drugs said that he could not in good conscience celebrate this coming of age with his fellow confeence participants.

He said "harm reduction for Asian drug users is still in the dark ages," he said, adding that very few drug users were being involved in the development, implementation and evaluation of public health and social care services.

Arun Vrik from India was quick to back up Fredy’s argument. "Well, I don’t think we have come of age in Asia. How many countries in Asia have achieved substantial results? Asia has a long way to go and I would say that harm reduction in our region is just coming out of infancy and taking its first baby stepsinto childhood."

Arun said that to truly come of age, stakeholders in Asia would have to broaden their understanding of harm reduction to incorporate human and economic development as well as humanitarian aid and public health rather than rely on a naïve conception of drug control.
But one of the Universal Access in Asia and the Pacific plenary panelists at the conference confidently declared that "The need for policy advocacy in the Asian region is over. Now we need a good scale-up",

Earlier, in the sme presenter’s slides covering the "Regional Overview of Scaling Up Harm Reduction Towards Universal Access in Asia", a generic statement about "coverage and quality of services" was listed as a key challenge for the region. Throughout the conference not one of the presenters mentioned, acknowledged or explained the decrease in harm reduction service coverage in South East Asia from 5.4 percent in 2003 to three percent in 2005, as recorded by UNAIDS.

According to Bijay Pandney, from Nepal, coverage goes straight to the heart of defining our coming of age. "Harm reduction has to become a way of life for Asian drug users – services must flood the community so that the principles and practices of harm reduction become second nature," he said.

Throughout Asia, programs reach an infinitesimal proportion of drug users and thus can rarely generate a critical mass in the community to affect transmission rates. Stimson’s opening speech exposed a long list of problems and challenges harm reduction is still facing globally.
An overwhelming focus on repression and prohibition reinforced by policy inconsistencies and outright contradictions that lead to an ever increasing number of casualties of the war on drugs; opposition to harm reduction from influential countries; ignorance and dismissal of epidemiological evidence; and a lack of funding are ust some of the problems that still need to be tackled.

Idle or counterproductive UN bodies; increasing prison populations; more corruption; disproportionate numbers of injecting drug users (IDUs) affected by HIV and other blood-borne viruses such as hepatitis C; inadequate service coverage; the execution of drug users and flagrant human rights abuses and violations are also key issues.

These are all very valid points when reflecting on the past few decades of harm reduction work. But despite a difficult struggle, progress has been made, achievements have been recognised and more voices have lent themselves to the support of drug users. The conference was an event where colleagues, friends and family came together to mark almost two decades of collaboration.

If harm reduction programs have come of age then we should celebrate the birth of the heirs to the movement. The Youth Network for Harm Reduction and the International Network of People who Use Drugs, both founded at last year’s event in Canada, represent concrete mechanisms through which additional efforts can be channeled

Oct 19, 2007

Verklaring over het internationale netwerk van activistische druggebruikers

Waarom de wereld nood heeft aan een
internationaal netwerk van activistische druggebruikers

Wij zijn mensen van over de hele wereld die drugs gebruiken. We zijn mensen die gemarginaliseerd en gediscrimineerd werden; we werden gedood, onnodig gekwetst, in de gevangenis gezet, afgeschilderd als het kwaad, en gestereotypeerd als gevaarlijk en waardeloos. Nu is het tijd om als burgers onze stem te verheffen, onze rechten af te dwingen en het recht op te nemen om voor onszelf te spreken, onze eigen woordvoerders te zijn die streven naar zelf-vertegenwoordiging en self-empowerment:

  • Om wereldwijd mensen die legaal of zogezegd illegaal drugs gebruiken de gelegenheid te geven en in staat te stellen te overleven, te groeien en onze stemmen laten horen als mensen met een zinvolle bijdrage voor alle beslissingen die een invloed hebben op onze eigen levens.

  • Om een beter begrip te verkrijgen over de ervaringen van mensen die illegaal drugs gebruiken, en in het bijzonder van de destructieve impact van het huidige drugsbeleid op drugsgebruikers én op onze niet-gebruikende medeburgers. Beter begrip is een erg belangrijk element voor de ontwikkeling van het lokaal, nationaal, regionaal en internationaal sociaal beleid.

  • Om onze eigen vaardigheden en kennis te gebruiken om anderen op te leiden en te informeren, vooral onze medegebruikers en alle burgers die zich bezighouden met drugs in onze gemeenschap.

  • Om te pleiten voor universele toegang tot alle beschikbare middelen teneinde de schade door drugs te beperken in het dagelijkse leven van mensen die drugs gebruiken, met inbegrip van i) realistische behandelingsmethoden, gepaste medische zorg voor gebruikers van verdovende middelen, ii) gereglementeerde toegang tot de drugs van farmaceutische kwaliteit die we nodig hebben, iii) beschikbaarheid van veilig consumptiemateriaal, met inbegrip van injectiespuiten en pijpen evenals iv) mogelijkheden tot de veilige afvalverwerking ervan, v) begeleiding door mededrugsgebruikers en eerlijke en recente informatie over drugs en drugsgebruik, met inbegrip van vi) veilige en hygiënische gebruiksruimten die voor velen van ons nodig zijn.

  • Om ons recht op objectieve en gefundeerde informatie over drugs af te dwingen en hoe we onszelf kunnen beschermen tegen de eventuele negatieve invloed van drugsgebruik door middel van algemene toegang tot evenwichtige en uitgebreide gezondheidsdiensten en sociale diensten, veilige en betaalbare woningen en toegang tot de arbeidsmarkt.

  • Om steun te verlenen aan plaatselijke, nationale, regionale en internationale netwerken van mensen met HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C en andere harm reduction groepen, en ervoor te zorgen dat actieve drugsgebruikers betrokken worden bij elk niveau van besluitvorming, dat we deel uitmaken van de raad van bestuur van deze organisaties en eerlijk vergoed worden voor onze onkosten, tijd en vaardigheden.

  • Om de nationale wetgeving en internationale conventies in vraag te stellen die het ons op dit moment onmogelijk maken een veilig, beschut en gezond leven te leiden.

Zeer bewust van de potentiële uitdagingen voor het uitbouwen van een dergelijk netwerk willen we:

  • Waardering en respect voor diversiteit en de verschillende achtergronden van elk van ons, erkenning voor onze kennis, vaardigheden en bekwaamheden, en het creëeren van een veilige en ondersteunende omgeving binnen het netwerk ongeacht de drugs die we gebruiken of de manier waarop we drugs gebruiken.

  • Informatie verspreiden over ons werk teneinde de ontwikkeling van gebruikersorganisaties in gemeenschappen/landen waar deze organisaties niet bestaan te ondersteunen en aan te moedigen

  • Tolerantie, samenwerking en medewerking bevorderen, en zorgen voor een cultuur van solidariteit en actieve participatie.

  • Democratische principes en een structuur creëren die een maximale participatie in de besluitvorming bevordert.

  • Maximale solidariteit met speciale aandacht voor hen die bijzonder gevoelig zijn voor onderdrukking op basis van geslacht, seksuele geaardheid, sociaal-economische status, godsdienst, enz.

  • Ervoor zorgen dat mensen die drugs gebruiken niet in de gevangenis belanden en dat zij die toch in de gevangenis belanden evenveel recht hebben op gezonde en eerbiedwaardige voorwaarden en behandelingen, met inbegrip van drugshulpverlening en toegang tot gezondheidsbevorderende materialen zoals injectiespuiten en condooms en medische behandelingen of ten minste een behandeling die identiek is aan wat men buiten de gevangenis zou krijgen.

  • Terechtstellingen en andere onmenselijke behandelingen van mensen die wereldwijd drugs gebruiken, in vraag stellen en bestrijden.

De uitbouw van een dergelijk netwerk is nodig omdat groepen onderdrukte mensen nooit bevrijdt worden zonder de betrokkenheid van hen die rechtstreeks door deze onderdrukking werden getroffen. Door collectieve acties willen we vechten om bestaande plaatselijke, nationale, regionale en internationale drugswetten te veranderen en een evidence-based drugsbeleid formuleren dat de mensenrechten en de menselijke waardigheid respecteert in plaats van een moraliserend beleid gebaseerd op stereotypes en leugens.

The International Drug User Activists Network
30 April 2006, Vancouver - Canada


Oct 18, 2007

INPUD-Asia: Observing World Hepatitis Awareness Day in Asia

Asian INPUDINPUD Chairman Anan Pun (Khatmandu, Nepal)

1 October 2007
Asian Network of People who Use Drugs
Asian Harm Reduction Network
Joint Communication

B etween 170 and 200 million people are currently living with hepatitis C (HCV) around the world, with HCV prevalence recorded at up to 93 percent among various injecting drug user (IDU) communities of Asia. Within the same population groups, HIV-HCV co-infection is becoming increasingly common. The sharing of injecting equipment among IDUs is a major vector for HIV and HCV transmission. It has been estimated that there are up to 9 million IDUs in the Asia-Pacific region. Out of the 7.4 million recorded people living with HIV in Thailand, Nepal, Indonesia, Myanmar and parts of India, Pakistan and China, more than half inject drugs [1] .

The international community remains ethically bound to act and must rapidly mobilise, for there is still an opportunity to bring about positive change. By investing, developing and implementing evidence-based measures responding to risk behaviours within drug user communities – including harm reduction measures like pharmacotherapy and needle and syringe exchange programmes – we can step closer to simultaneously neutralising two of the world's most devastating and rapidly expanding epidemics.

Today, we have a say and we demand that

■ Health agencies all over the world and particularly in Asia must acknowledge hepatitis – with a special attention to HCV;

■ Governments and policy makers should acknowledge the need and express a greater level of commitment to HCV diagnosis, prevention, treatment, care and support;

■ HCV among people using drugs must be appropriately covered in HIV/AIDS and drug strategies and programmes, as well as in the Universal Access framework, Global Fund programmes and other national, regional and international platforms;

■ People using drugs must be involved in the formulation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of all strategies and policies that affect their lives, including those strategies and policies addressing HCV prevention and treatment;

■ Repressive legislation and policies that criminalise drug use and people using drugs must be revised to effectively address public health issues, while reflecting a non-stigmatising approach;

■ Strategies to address HCV must be adopted with clear accountability mechanisms at international, regional and national levels;

■ Donors and foreign development agencies supporting harm reduction, HIV prevention and other services targeting people using drugs must include a HCV component in their programme;

■ All stakeholders must work more closely with communities affected by HCV and drug use to develop a comprehensive response to HCV, in order to increase access to diagnosis, treatment, care and support for people using drugs;

■ Hepatitis A and B vaccination should be made widely available, and considerations should be given to the production of local generic treatments for HCV;

■ Harm reduction programmes must not only be sustained, but urgently scaled-up and expanded to provide adequate coverage and a wide range of services including (but not limited to) needle and syringe exchange progreammes;

■ HIV testing should always be offered to clients with HCV, and HCV testing should likewise be offered to PLWHA;

For more information about HCV and the response in Asia, please contact Anan Pun (Asian Network of People who Use Drugs) and Pascal Tanguay (Asian Harm Reduction Network) at and respectively.

Ananda Pun
INPUD Chairman

Pascal Tanguay
Commuications Manager
Asian Harm Reduction Network


The English user representatives' report from the 2007 IHRC in Warsaw

The English user representatives' report
from the 2007 International Harm Reduction Association Conference
- Nothing about us, without us -

The report is an excellent account of the groups findings which concludes that further establishment and improvement of harm reduction in England must be achieved with users at the heart of the process.

The report can be found as a downloadable PDF at:


Oct 17, 2007

Report on the European INPUD meeting at the Correlation Conference in Sofia.

European INPUD

Fabrice (Fr), Vito (Maç), Ines (Slo), Samo (Slo), Zarir (Maç)

By Milena Naydenova

On September, 27th - 29th the Correlation Network European Conference “Social Inclusion & Health – Crossing the Borders” took place in Sofia, Bulgaria. There were almost 200 people from a number of different countries attending the event. Drug Users, Roma, and Sex Workers activists took a significant part in the conference program and together with professionals and service providers raised awareness about the good as well as about the bad practices they have encountered in the areas they work in. The numerous optional workshops organized during the conference gave chance to the participants to share their personal experience and get acquainted with the ideas and the work of their peers and colleagues.

Zarir (Maçedonia)

The Correlation Network invited again the European INPUD activists to organize their own meeting as a satellite to the main conference. The event was also opened for people outside the community and it took place in the afternoon of the last day, after the closing session. There were altogether 21 from persons 13 different, mainly EU countries attending, including three non–users observers. Unfortunately two of our peers activists that took part in the previous European INPUD meetings - Nuno Fernandes (Portugal) and Ivo Thery (Belgium) were unable to participate in this one due to unavoidable objective circumstances.

Jason (USA), Daan (NL), Rumen (BG), Tonny (BE)

The meeting was chaired by Stijn Goossens - the International Director of INPUD, as Milena Naydenova (a resigned INPUD vice-chair) was in charge of putting down the minutes and making the final report of the event. The approved agenda included overview and discussions about the registration and the structure of the network and its board, the current board members, the development in the organization of regional INPUD departments – as INPUD Asia and INPUD Europe, the frameworks of the future activities of European INPUD as the focus was on our application and possible participation in the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs and the cooperation INPUD-IHRD-WHO for creating Guide-Lines addressing the medical and the harm-reduction services that should be available for our peers attending International events. The participants got also updated information about the INPUD Internet site, the on line membership campaign, the forms of membership, the application forms, as the most serious problem encountered here is the need of Dutch-English translation of INPUD statue and the consequent statue translations in as many languages as possible.

Zarir (Maç), Xavier (Sp), Stijn (Be)

The next topic of the agenda was a report on INPUD / Spanish DUA preparations for the 19th ICRDRH. The representative of the Barcelona DU Organization made a detailed overview of the work the local peers have done up to the moment and all people attending the meeting were really delighted to hear that apart from substitution, medical, harm reduction and other needed services, for the first time this year it is realistic to expect a safe-injecting site available in the conference ally, where most probably the annual INPUD congress will also take place. Serious problem that appears again for a first year after few in a row is that the main donors in the area are withdrawing money from conferences, so this year will not be scholarships available apart from the few ones IHRD gives to their grantees from Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Besides the INPUD office will have to find grants to finance the rent of the premises the annual congress of the network will be held. Although the problem raised detailed discussions, no realistic opportunities for scholarships and just few options for financing the congress were found for the moment.

Stijn and Mustafa

The meeting proceeded with the last topic from the agenda – the International Drug Users Day. Currently there are two dates acknowledged as IDUD – July, 21st, founded in Germany by a mother who has lost her son at this date and the more largely accepted November, 1st – the day for remembering the dead, according to the some Christian traditions. We agreed that the both dates should remain as each DU organization have to decide locally which one of the dates to choose for the commemoration of our dead peers and which should be anti-prohibitionists day. INPUD will gather input from its local chapters and whenever possible will make a joint slogan for celebrating the event also at International level. As INPUD's International Director, Stijn Goossens took the responsibility to propose to the INPUD members to celebrate the 2 wide known IDUD dates.

The discussion marked the end of the meeting.

29/09/2007, Sofia Bulgaria

Milena (BG/BE)

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