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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.

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
61 Mansell Street
E1 8AN

Tel: +44(0) 207 324 3535
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's Intervention at the Sixtieth Session of the Committee on Narcotic Drugs

Date: 15 March 2017

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The following intervention was made by Harm Reduction International at the Sixtieth Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.

"Thank you to the Chair for the opportunity to make this intervention on behalf of Harm Reduction International.

Paragraph 1 of the UNGASS outcomes document commits to minimising the adverse health and social consequences of drug use – in other words to harm reduction.

It encourages states to introduce medication assisted therapy, injecting equipment programmes, antiretroviral treatment and Naloxone for the prevention of overdose related deaths.

This is an historic first for a UN document on drugs, and an important step forward for harm reduction.  But the true value of the UNGASS commitments can only measured in the implementation of harm reduction services at country level. 

Harm Reduction International’s Global State of Harm Reduction report, released in November, reveals that since 2014, no new countries have begun providing needle and syringe programmes, and just three have introduced opioid substitution therapy.  Of 158 countries where injecting drug use is reported, over half still do not offer OST and more than a third do not provide needle and syringe programmes.

UNAIDS figures published in November show that in the five years leading up to the UNGASS, HIV infections among people who inject drugs increased by a staggering one third.

Under the Sustainable Development Goals, UN member states pledged to end AIDS by 2030.  We will not achieve that target if people who use drugs are left behind.  There is but one message that we can take from the UNAIDS and Global State figures: that now it is time for harm reduction.

In order to implement harm reduction services, countries must make funding available. Harm Reduction International’s 10 by 20 campaign calls on governments to redirect just ten per cent of the resources that they currently spend on drug enforcement to harm reduction. Data modelling from our Harm Reduction Decade report, which we released at last year's CND, shows that with a redirection of just 7.5% we could virtually end AIDS among people who inject drugs by 2030. We urge countries to take this bold step and begin to reverse the alarming increase in HIV infections among people who inject drugs. We urge all UN agencies, and those countries which have already made the often difficult but always rewarding decision to invest in harm reduction, to act as champions for these life saving services and support countries to meet the challenge ahead."

© 2018 Harm Reduction International.

Charity number – 1117375 | Company number – 3223265

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