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About HRI

HRI is a leading non-governmental organisation working to reduce the negative health, social and human rights impacts of drug use and drug policy by promoting evidence-based public health policies and practices, and human rights based approaches to drugs. Read more about HRI’s history.

Vision and Mission

Our vision is a world in which individuals and communities benefit from drug laws, policies and practices that promote health, dignity and human rights.


Meet our staff at HRI


HRI is governed by a nine person Board of Directors, elected for three-year terms.

What is harm reduction?

Harm reduction refers to policies, programmes and practices that aim to reduce the harms associated with the use of psychoactive drugs in people unable or unwilling to stop. The defining features are the focus on the prevention of harm, rather than on the prevention of drug use itself, and the focus on people who continue to use drugs.

Harm reduction definition and principles in 12 languages

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or queries about our website, our work, membership or the international harm reduction conference.


HRI benefits from the generous support of the Open Society Foundations, the European Commission, the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the MAC AIDS Fund, UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Bank, The Robert Carr Networks Fund and the Swiss Government.

Harm Reduction International Awards

HRI presents a number of awards at outr international conference to acknowledge the contributions of outstanding groups or individuals in the field.

Strategic Plan

Our vision is a world in which individuals and communities benefit from drug policies, laws and practices that promote health, dignity and human rights

Our Work

Evidence for advocacy

HRI produces groundbreaking research and policy analysis informing advocacy across our sector.

Spending where it matters

Funding for harm reduction services is dangerously short while billions are wasted on drug enforcement. HRI works to assess resourcing needs and advocates for a reinvestment in health.

Harm Reduction Decade

Read our latest report calling for a Harm Reduction Decade, sign the Harm Reduction Decade Declaration, call for #10by20, and stand up for human rights of people who use drugs, their families and communities.

10 by 20 Campaign

We are calling on governments to redirect 10% of the resources currently spent on ineffective punitive responses to drugs and invest it in harm reduction by 2020.

Human rights-based policy

Human rights abuses and drug enforcement go hand in hand. HRI challenges laws, policies and practices that generate harm.

The Death Penalty for Drug Offences

HRI monitors the death penalty for drugs in law and practice worldwide, and also considers critical developments on the issue.

Sector strengthening

HRI builds advocacy coalitions and supports emerging harm reduction networks to strengthen the international harm reduction sector.

International conference

Harm reduction is a global movement. Our biennial gathering is the International Harm Reduction Conference, convened by HRI.


News and Announcements

Read the latest announcements and updates from HRI.

Global State of Harm Reduction

Global State of Harm Reduction

Our flagship publication is the biennial Global State of Harm Reduction report. First published in 2008, it involves a coordinated effort across practitioners, academics, advocates and activists to map global data and responses to HIV and hepatitis C epidemics related to unsafe injecting and non-injecting drug use. It is the only report to provide an independent analysis of the state of harm reduction in the world. The information collated within the report is stored and regularly updated on an interactive e-tool for researchers and advocates.

The Global State of Harm Reduction report is supplemented by regular thematic reports and advisories on key issues and emerging challenges. Please search our Resource Library for more information or join our e-list for regular updates.

Interactive e-tool

Global State of Harm Reduction’ e-tool is an interactive resource containing up-to-date information on harm reduction policy and programming around the world. Users can select countries or regions and create tables for an at-a-glance guide to the current state of harm reduction worldwide.

Resource Library

Resource Library

Use our extensive resource library to search for HRI, NGO and academic reports, articles and presentations, including materials from past international conferences.

Harm Reduction Journal

Harm Reduction Journal, www.harmreductionjournal.com, is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal whose focus is on the prevalent patterns of psychoactive drug use, the public policies meant to control them, and the search for effective methods of reducing the adverse medical, public health, and social consequences associated with both drugs and drug policies.

Contact Us

Contact Us

Harm Reduction International
Unit 2C09 Southbank Technopark
90 London Road
SE1 6LN  

Tel: +44(0) 207 717 1592
Join us on Facebook at: Harm Reduction International
Follow us on Twitter at: HRInews
Join us on Instagram at: hrinews


Conference 2019

The 26th Harm Reduction International Conference (HR19) which will take place April 28-May 1 in Porto, Portugal at the Alfândega Porto Congress Centre.

Register to attend HR19 here.

HRI has serious concerns with draft UNGASS outcome document

Date: 23 January 2016

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Harm Reduction International has examined the draft UNGASS outcome document and has serious concerns surrounding the harm reduction/HIV language that we want to bring to your attention.

If adopted in its present form, the current language represents a significant step backwards both from previously agreed commitments and language, within CND (such as resolution 56/6), HIV fora (in particular the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV) and the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 3, targets 3.3 and 3.5).

It is important to protect the gains previously made on our core issues, and ensure they are not undermined as a result of the UNGASS process. This is especially true as the harm reduction sector seeks to establish new targets in HIV prevention among people who use drugs at the upcoming High Level Meeting on HIV, held only a few weeks after the UNGASS.

Specific concerns we want to highlight include:

  • The lack of any explicit language supporting harm reduction or acknowledgement of the concept or programmes as a whole
  • An absence of language around meaningful participation of civil society organisations (especially drug user-led) in designing and implementing services and advocacy programmes for people who use drugs or people who inject drugs
  • Weak language asking to promote, but not implement, the WHO/UNODC/UNAIDS ‘Technical guide for countries to set targets for universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care for injecting drug users’ – a significant step back from previously agreed commitments both at CND and HIV fora
  • A lack of recognition of previously agreed commitments to reduce HIV among people who use drugs and a lack of recognition that these global goals have been missed
  • The lack of recognition of the need to scale up HIV treatment, prevention and care in order to end HIV epidemics.
  • No mention at all of access to HIV anti-retroviral therapy for people who inject drugs
  • In this context, and building upon existing agreed UN language, HRI has drafted the following that we propose be the basis for strengthening the currently weak draft.

Proposed preambular text:

  • Recalling resolution 53/9 of 12 March 2010, on achieving universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support for drug users and people living with or affected by HIV,
  • Recalling also resolution 54/13 of 25 March 2011, on achieving zero new infections of HIV among injecting and other drug users,
  • Recalling also Resolution 56/6 Intensifying the efforts to achieve the targets of the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS among people who use drugs, in particular the target to reduce HIV transmission among people who inject drugs by 50 per cent by 2015
  • Urges Member States to strengthen their efforts to ensure continued political commitment to combating HIV/AIDS among people who use drugs, in particular people who inject drugs, and to acknowledge the target set in the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS: Intensifying Our Efforts to Eliminate HIV and AIDS to reduce HIV transmission among people who inject drugs by 50 per cent by 2015 has been missed; redouble our efforts to combat HIV among people who use drugs, in particular people who inject drugs
  • Requests Member States to ensure, that adequate access for people who use drugs, in particular people who inject drugs, to the nine interventions mentioned in the Technical Guide referred to above is provided, as appropriate, without stigma or discrimination and while ensuring gender equality

We would also encourage the following operational recommendations to be pushed:

  • Acknowledge that the provision of harm reduction and evidence-based drug treatment (including in prisons and places of detention) cannot be seen as a policy option at the discretion of States, but must be recognised as a core obligation of States to meet their international legal obligations under the right to health;
  • Recalling the HIV Political Declaration of 2011, acknowledge the target of reducing HIV infection among people who inject drugs has been missed, redouble efforts to address HIV among people who inject drugs through implementation of harm reduction programmes, including but not limited to, the package of core interventions outlined in the WHO/UNODC/UNAIDS ‘Technical guide for countries to set targets for universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care for injecting drug users’;
  • Acknowledge the need for appropriate, voluntary, evidence based services for those stimulant users in need of services, as the WHO/UNODC/UNAIDS technical guide does not address this group;
  • Acknowledge the global deficit for sustainable funding of harm reduction programmes and support a reconfiguration of resourcing away from punitive responses towards proven harm reduction interventions;
  • Intensify meaningful participation of, and provide support, training and funding to, community-based organisations and civil society organisations (including drug user organisations) in designing and implementing services and advocacy programmes for people who use drugs/people who inject drugs.

© 2018 Harm Reduction International.

Charity number – 1117375 | Company number – 3223265

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