In the final episode of our documentary series on the history of the rights movement of people who use drugs, we introduce activists from the UK and from the International Network of People Who Use Drugs.
The drug user rights movement in the United Kingdom, as in many other countries started as a peer-led response to the HIV crisis. Mainliners was the first self support group of people who use drugs living with HIV. After the passing away of John Mordaunt, one of the founders of Mainliners, his widow, Andria Efthimiou-Mordaunt set up the John Mordaunt Trust, to honour his life partner’s memory and to provide harm reduction and education for people who use drugs, and to advocate against their criminalisation and stigmatization.
Mat Southwell worked at the Health Service as a harm reduction worker, and was taught community organising by gay men’s organisations. He helped set up drug user groups which were providing secondary needle exchange. He was part of the Crack Squad, which worked together with the to Royal College of General Practice to help doctors approach crack use based on a harm reduction perspective. With the MixMag dance drugs magazine, Mat and his peers introduced party harm reduction education. Mat also took part in the founding of EURONPUD, the European Network of People who Use Drugs, and now works at West Country Respect.
The International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD) is a global peer-based organisation that seeks to promote the health and defend the rights of people who use drugs. INPUD was founded in 2006, when international activists who use drugs created the Vancouver Declaration. Judy Chang, the executive director of INPUD tells us the story of INPUD, and how this umbrella organisation of all the user networks worldwide works on the international level, to advocate for the rights of people who use drugs. They work at the UN level to bring the voices of people who use drugs into global decision making spaces, such as the UNAIDS, WHO, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. They advocate for decriminalisation and legalisation of drugs, for harm reduction, hepatitis and tuberculosis treatment, overdose prevention, and fight against the death penalty, extrajudicial killings and other human rights violations of people who use drugs.
With this documentary series, INPUD and Drugreporter aimed to honour all those brave activisits around the world who dedicated their lives to the rights movement of people who use drugs, and contributed to make this world a better place, to reduce hurt and suffering and to bring joy to our lives. #drugpolicy #harmreduction #drugs #humanrights #decriminalisation #drogok #drogpolitika #ártalomcsökkentés
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