The British Columbia Court of Appeal in Canada has upheld a lower court ruling from last year that granted Vancouver’s supervised injection facility an ongoing exemption from certain provisions of Canada’s drug laws (prohibiting possession and trafficking of controlled substances) and that also declared those provisions of Canada’s law constitutionally invalid insofar as they apply to the users and site operators of Insite.
The call for nominations for the 2010 Red Ribbon Award is now open. As in the past, the award honors and recognizes
exceptional grassroots leadership in responding to the AIDS epidemic. Nominations are accepted from December 1st,
2009 until February 28th, 2010.
The International Harm Reduction Association is recruiting for two new positions. The deadline for applications for both posts is 5th February 2010. The posts are Networking and Advocacy Officer and Human Rights Analyst: Death Penalty Project.
ICASO is calling for the urgent involvement of community sector organizations in the review and reporting process related to the UNGASS Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. The review and reporting process for the 2010 period is already underway. Countries need to send their progress reports to UNAIDS by March 31, 2010.
The IDPC Law Enforcement project took a big step forward in December 2009 with the first seminar taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Royal Malaysia Police Force. The seminar was organised in partnership with the Malaysia AIDS Council (MAC).
In December 2009, the US finally lifted a 21-year long ban on the use of federal funds for needle exchange programmes. This policy change represents a major step forward and opens up many possibilities for advocacy and support for new programmes.
Human Rights Watch has noted that the conviction of eight police officers for crimes in anti-drug operations should be a catalyst for the Thai government to end police abuses. On December 8, 2009, the Talingchan district court in Bangkok found Police Captain Nat Chonnithiwanit and seven other members of the 41st Border Patrol Police (BPP) unit guilty of assault with weapons, illegal detention, and extortion. Each was sentenced to five years of imprisonment.
Recommendations for improving access to substitution treatment in Polish prisons have been signed. This step forward was made in early December at a conference co-hosted by the Penitentiary Service, the Social AIDS Committee and Open Society Institute’s Global Drug Policy program.
The Canadian federal government is again proposing mandatory sentences and stiff penalties for certain drug offences. But evidence shows that they only worsen an already dire situation. Incarcerating people who inject drugs or those who are vulnerable to such a practice contributes to Canada’s worsening HIV/HCV epidemic. Along with over 62 witnesses who made submissions or testified before the Standing Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network made its case before the Senate with this submission.
With the support of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the International AIDS Society (IAS) has established a research fellowship programme, with the goal of contributing to advances in the scientific understanding of drug use and HIV, while fostering multinational research. Applications from a wide range of disciplines including social, behavioral, political, clinical, biomedical, mathematical sciences or others are accepted.