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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 Board of Directors of up to nine people, who are 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 our 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.

Harm Reduction International Awards

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The International Rolleston Award

This was awarded to Harm Reduction International Awards 2006 - Dr. Robert Newman, the leading advocate for the provision of methadone on a maintenance basis for over 35 years - earning him the title of “The Methadone Pope”. Dr. Newman has advised many governments on their policies for injecting drug users, notably the government of Hong Kong where methadone is now available on demand for people dependent on opiates.

Click to view history of the International Rolleston Award

The National Rolleston Award

Harm Reduction International Awards 2006 - DUAGThis was given to the conference’s ‘Drug User Advisory Group’ (DUAG), which formed in May 2005 in order to take an active role in the conference planning process. The group consisted of Bill Nelles, Ann Livingston, Darlene Palmer, Jean Francois Morin, Rob Weppler, Rob Morgan, Dianne Tobin, Chris Livingstone, Sook Lee, Kenn Quayle, Brian MacKenzie, Rosemary Fayant, Raffi Balian, Deb Breau, Brent Taylor, Caitlin Padgett, Warren Michelow and Guilia DiGiorgio. The DUAG ensured that there was a wealth of diverse and challenging user participation at the Vancouver conference. The group were also a driving force behind the unprecedented support for drug users at the conference (such as peer support volunteers, health and safety protocols, a medical room, visa support and the awareness training given to hotel staff). Bill Nelles was presented with a prize of $CD 5,000 on behalf of the group, and this will be donated to the newly-formed ‘Canadian Coalition for People Who Use Drugs’, an organisation which has emerged from the conference’s ‘DUAG’ and aims to provide a voice for Canadian people who use drugs.

Click to view history of the National Rolleston Award

The Travis Jenkins Award

This was given to Harm Reduction International Awards 2006 - Jason Farrell - the Chief Executive of Harm Reduction Consulting Services Inc, and the founder and former Executive Director of the Positive Health Project (PHP). For the last 15 years, Jason Farrell has been a leading expert in the design and implementation of outreach strategies for the most difficult to reach populations. As well as providing technical assistance for international HIV programmes, Jason Farrell is a trainer, consultant, advocate and researcher on a wide range of harm reduction topics and a certified HIV counsellor and outreach specialist.

Click to view history of the Travis Jenkins Award

© 2018 Harm Reduction International.

Charity number – 1117375 | Company number – 3223265

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