For almost 20 years, Harm Reduction International has been a leader in promoting the harm reduction approach to drug use and policy around the world. What started initially as a forum for organising the annual International Harm Reduction Conferences in the 1990s has grown in the past ten years to become one of the world’s leading independent sources of research and policy analysis on harm reduction and human rights issues, and on advocating for policy change alongside our regional and global partners.
The past year saw many important achievements for us at HRI. However, the clear highlight was the success of our 24th International Conference in Kuala Lumpur, staged in partnership with the Malaysian AIDS Council. For over two decades, the HRI conference has been the main international gathering of people and organisations working on harm reduction. In Kuala Lumpur, we were pleased to welcome over 900 delegates from more than 70 countries, demonstrating once again the truly global nature of our movement, and the vibrancy and dedication of the broad harm reduction community. We look forward to celebrating the milestone of our 25th conference in Montreal in 2017.
2015 was also the year in which our 10 by 20 campaign kicked into full gear. 10 by 20 is a coordinated advocacy platform to advance our broader work on increasing global funding for harm reduction, which is a key objective of our strategic plan. Created in consultation with our global and regional partners, it calls on governments to redirect 10% of the money currently spent on the ‘war on drugs’ into harm reduction services. The campaign was launched during the 2015 meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and was a visible presence at every key global event during the year, including our conference. The campaign will continue to be a central theme of our collective advocacy as we head towards a UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs in April 2016.
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