2022 Global Day of Action: Ten years building sustainable alternatives to the 'war on drugs'

The 2022 Global Day of Action marks a very special anniversary for the Support. Don’t Punish campaign. For a decade, campaigners in all corners of the world have mobilised decisively to counter the harmful ‘war on drugs’ and the many systems of violence and neglect at its heart, and to build sustainable alternatives based on harm reduction and decriminalisation.

The Support. Don’t Punish campaign has grown far beyond the expectations of its original proponents. The road travelled from the first Global Day of Action in 2013, which saw activities in 41 cities of 22 countries, to last year’s Day of Action, with thousands of campaigners in 260 cities of nearly 100 countries, has been challenging but also highly rewarding and punctuated by many victories.

Through hundreds of creative, collaborative and impactful activities, campaigners have put harm reduction, decriminalisation and community engagement firmly on local, regional and national agendas. All while growing people power to ensure no one is left behind.

As part of a broader movement for drug policy reform and harm reduction, campaigners have contributed to shifting discourses, norms and practices around drugs in ways that promote respect, care and solidarity, rather than punishment, discrimination and stigma.

We are in a much stronger position than we were a decade ago. More countries have implemented decriminalisation models, going from around 25 in 2012 to 35 today. The availability of basic harm reduction services, such as opioid agonist therapy (OAT) and needle-and-syringe programmes (NSP) has increased from 77 countries in 2012 to 86 today. In a similar way, safer consumption sites have expanded, from 86 in 9 countries in 2012, to about 150 in 12 countries nowadays. Drug checking services and naloxone distribution have also become more accessible over the past decade.

We have also seen the expansion and honing of what harm reduction and decriminalisation mean —ensuring that these are not mere legal or conceptual constructs, but transformative and people-centred ideas that should structure public life and translate into health and well-being for our communities.

In parallel, the normative basis to advocate for decriminalisation and harm reduction has consolidated, with unequivocal support from the UN system and multilateral bodies, as exemplified by the United Nations Common Position on drug policy released in 2018, the 2021 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS and the UNAIDS’ Global AIDS Strategy 2021- 2026.

Our movement is also in closer dialogue and solidarity with sister struggles, and we have seen a progressively growing number of Support. Don’t Punish activities organised by, or in collaboration with, people living with HIV, women, LGBTQ+ people, sex workers, young people, families of incarcerated people, and a long etcaetera.

In preparing for the 10th anniversary of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign’s Global Day of Action, we are reminded of the words of Mariame Kaba, a fantastic antiracist activist and community organiser in the United States, as she says: ‘Everything worthwhile is done with other people’. For the 2022 Global Day of Action, let us once more show our communities that a different world is possible, and that we can and must build it together.


Call for Expressions of Interest

This Call allows us to identify plans and share with the wider movement, as well as to assess your needs and provide support where possible.

The deadline to submit a response is Friday, 29 April 2022.

Anticipated timeline

  • Submission period: 31 March – 29 April 2022
  • Assessment period: 2 – 9 May 2022
  • Notification of support: 16 May 2022
  • Expected disbursement period: 23 May – 9 June 2022
  • Feedback submission period: July - August 2022

Please fill the form online.

If you run into challenges with the online form, you can download it here and send it by e-mail to campaign@idpc.net.