ABD Group participates in UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs side event in Vienna

The event discussed the incorporation of Social Justice in harm reduction

The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs CND met in Vienna from the 14th to the 22nd of March. During these days, plenary sessions and side events that complete the agenda take place.

On 22 March, the ABD Group organised the side event “The incorporation of social justice into harm reduction: an essential step”. The aim was to make visible the importance of (re) incorporating social justice perspective to strengthen health and social protection systems, while integrating and stimulating the participation, learning and leadership of the communities themselves.

Juan Fernández Ochoa, communications and campaigns officer at the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) and coordinator of the Support Don’t Punish campaign, highlighted the crucial role that communities and their members have played in the implementation of harm reduction strategies.

Roberto Pérez Gayo, Advocacy Officer at Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network [C-EHRN], Coordinator of the European Network of Drug Consumption Rooms [ENDCR] and author of the report Becoming Peer. Learning from Nightlife has brought to the table how the effectiveness of these programmes raises questions about the need for prior scientific evidence to justify their implementation, and has emphasised the value of responses that come directly from people who use substances themselves.

The director of Harm Reduction at ABD and researcher at UNAD, Ester Aranda Rodríguez, presented the results of the recent research, published by UNAD in collaboration with ABD, which analyses the current situation of harm reduction in Spain. She highlighted the importance of re-contextualising existing responses, incorporating a social justice perspective into the current model of harm reduction. This new approach makes it possible to contemplate the impact of structural inequalities on substance use in vulnerable populations.

The founding director of Metzineres and international advisor on drug policy, harm reduction, human rights and gender, Aura Roig, presented the first service for women and gender-dissident people who have experienced violence. This project, designed from a feminist approach, offers a person-centred accompaniment, assuming that the use of substances in survival conditions and/or in people with traumatic experiences has the function of reducing psychological suffering.

The roundtable was moderated by Constanza Sánchez Avilés, Director of Law, Policy and Human Rights at ICEERS.

Mid-term review of the Inter-Ministerial Declaration

As usual, the meeting of CND government delegations is held on these dates. Also attending are the representatives of civil society specialised in drugs, academia and professionals from all over the world. This year’s meeting is particularly relevant because it is at the mid-term review of the 2019 Inter-Ministerial Declaration.

For the first time, the CND has passed a resolution recognising harm reduction.

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