This contribution is in response to the request of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) for relevant information with regard to the implementation of Our Joint Commitment to Effectively Addressing and Countering The World Drug Problem, the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session On The World Drug Problem Outcome Document. This submission considers the relevant operational recommendations within the Outcome Document and analyses their relationship to the human rights, lives and experiences of people who use drugs. This submission has been prepared by drawing from available data and from prior consultations with people who use drugs globally.
"We, the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) and the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), are writing to urgently bring your attention to our concerns with relation to the Philippines drug war series “AMO”, which is set to be aired by Netflix on April 9th 2018. We believe this series actively promotes very real violence and killings of marginalized and vulnerable communities...."
The International Network of People who use Drugs, along with 188 drug user organisations and working at the national, regional and international level on issues related to drug use, drug treatment, harm reduction and drug policies urge the WHO and the UNODC to revise their guidelines on International Standards for the Treatment of Drug Use Disorders. In brief:
- The paper contains many assertions not supported evidentiarily or cited.
- The phrase ‘harm reduction’ is entirely missing from the document.
- The paper contains crude generalisations and many stigmatising and pathologising assertions.
- Notably, the paper contains numerous implications that people who use drugs and have drug dependencies are dangerous; cannot exercise agency and self-determination; are sick; are unreliable; are bad family members; are bad employees. Needless to say, such crude generalisations are deeply stigmatising and offensive, not to mention unempirical.
- The paper fails to identify criminalisation and prohibition as being responsible for driving much drug related harm and harm associated with drug dependency; instead, it myopically asserts that because drugs are harmful, they are criminalised, without noting that it is due to the fact that they are criminalised that they are so harmful.
- The paper’s active promotion Naltrexone is very concerning, given its lack of evidentiary support: Naltrexone is promoted in the document as of equal value to interventions that are (in contrast to Naltrexone) empirically justified and greatly beneficial; this is arguably used to eclipse interventions with proven efficacy, such as methadone, buprenorphine, and diamorphine/morphine prescribing, due to the document’s clear advocation of abstinence-based recovery.
When? Wednesday, 31 January 2018 at 18:00 (GMT)
A Day in the Life: The World of Humans Who Use Drugs highlights how the lives of people who use drugs are affected by the global war on drugs. The film, produced in cooperation between activists and drug users, highlights individual stories through the course of one day in Crimea, the US, Germany, Nigeria, Indonesia, Hungary and Mexico. In doing so, it demonstrates how very seemingly parallel behaviours can result in very different consequences in different countries and contexts, in varying legal regimes, and in the context of hugely diverse access (and barriers) to life-saving healthcare provision, harm reduction, and social services.
The film additionally illustrates how people who use drugs themselves actively respond to repressive environments and engage in collective action and activism in striving to challenge – and to change – the policies and laws around them and, in so doing, improve the lives of their communities.
After the public screening, there will be a Q&A session with a diverse panel of activists, academics, and researchers. The panel will have the opportunity to discuss aspects of the film as well as the legislative and policy infrastructures that impact the lives and lived experiences of people who use drugs.
To book (free) tickets, click here
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