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‘We are the Evidence’ – Community-led Responses on Decriminalisation, COVID-19 and Harm Reduction

13 April, 2021

‘We Are the Evidence’: Community-Led Responses on Decriminalisation, Harm Reduction and COVID-19 is a discussion on why and how people who use drugs should be at the centre of advancing policy towards decriminalisation of drugs. INPUD, along with HIV Legal Network, UNAIDS and the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, presented this virtual side event at the 64th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

Read INPUD’s new report on drug decriminalisation here.

While recent moves towards the decriminalisation of drug use in some jurisdictions has been viewed as politically transformative by many, people who use drugs have criticised predominant decriminalisation models and practices as misleading. This session launched a new, first of its kind publication by INPUD addressing this criticism, exploring different decriminalisation models and their impacts based on peer-led research and voices from the grassroots. We will also discussed examples of peer leadership on harm reduction and the COVID-19 response to discuss how the same leadership is necessary to ensure the best possible health and rights outcomes for people who use drugs when implementing decriminalisation.

Annie Madden – PhD Candidate, University of New South Wales
Richard Elliott – Executive Director, HIV Legal Network
Torbjørn Brekke – Senior Drug Policy Advisor, Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services
Richard Nininahazwe – Program Coordinator, African Network of People who Use Drugs
Laurel Sprague – Special Advisor – Community Mobilisation, UNAIDS

Opening remarks were also provided by Judy Chang, Executive Director of INPUD. The event was facilitated by Jake Agliata, Policy & Communications Officer of INPUD.