Drug policy in South Asia is based on a zero-tolerance approach with punitive legislation that leans heavily on incarceration for people involved in drug offences. Harm reduction and treatment services remain scarce and often of low quality. In the field of supply, crop eradication campaigns have been unable to curb opium production in the region.
Tandon recounts how India's decision to impose a lockdown, forcing people who use drugs to go through withdrawals without treatment, can result in tragic deaths, highlighting the need for a policy change.
Gutierrez provides an analysis of how the participation of communities in the production of crops deemed illicit often represents a coping mechanism in relation to pre-existing forms of structural marginalisation, whilst exposing these communities to further vulnerabilities.
Whilst WHO member states aim to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030, interviews with 'at risk' individuals suggest that insufficient awareness of the illness and a lack of health facilities act as barriers to these ambitious targets.
Harm reduction workers in Afghanistan face an unjust paradox: Despite providing key support for people who use drugs and people living with HIV, they are often excluded from the public health community.
This participatory workshop will offer a space for experienced campaigners in Asia to reflect on advocacy achievements, identify and prioritise pending challenges, and devise context-specific strategies for expanding the impact and reach of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign.