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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.

INPUD Statement at UNAIDS PCB meeting, Geneva

Date: 24 June 2009

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This week in Geneva, the Program Coordinating Board (PCB) of UNAIDS is meeting. On the agenda is a discussion on HIV prevention among injection drug users, and there is debate taking place to try and urge explicit support for the term 'harm reduction' in the UNAIDS action points coming out of the session.

During the debate this morning, the International Network of People who Use Drugs made an excellent intervention, which was perpared by Mat Southwell and Erin O’Mara and read out during the plenary session by Mat.

The text of the INPUD statement is below.

'Thank you chair and fellow participants in this UNAIDS PCB and thank you Christian for your clear report. I have the privilege to speak on behalf of the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), a global movement of current and ex drug users.

We would like to extend our thanks to Michel Sidibe for his leadership, vision and humanity. You cannot underestimate the impact when international leaders, such as Michel and Michel Kazatchkine from Global Fund, talk with compassion and understanding about our community. We offer ourselves as partners in our collective march towards Universal Access and Human Rights.

We would like to thank DfID for providing INPUD with its first seed funding and we call on other countries to support our community at a country, regional and global level to take part in the planning and delivery of HIV prevention and treatment, and discussions about wider harm reduction strategies.

We thank the Dutch Government for organising the donors conference earlier this year and we thank UNAIDS for the interim funding that has been key to INPUD’s engagement as an international partner. We thank the World AIDS Campaign, and the International AIDS Alliance, for funding our participation in this meeting, and we note the financial constraints that prevent meaningful representation of people who use drugs from the developing world.

People who use drugs, and our organisations, are part of the solution not the problem. Too often, we are blamed for the policy failures of drug control. In fact, our community has consistently developed and championed public health strategies that improve the health and welfare of our, and the wider, community. For example, the world’s first needle exchange was run by a drug user organisation in Holland, back in 1982, as a response to Hepatitis B. Needle exchange is now a cornerstone of HIV prevention strategies with people who inject drugs.

We call on UN agencies to develop an integrated response to the HIV and Hepatitis C pandemics that are decimating our community. We also call for a more holistic engagement in harm reduction around drug use that recognises the need to also work with non-injecting populations, people who use stimulant drugs, and those at risk of overdosing.

We welcome the new UNODC and WHO programme that will champion Universal Access to Effective Treatment options. We welcome Dr Gerra’s willingness to engage with our community and his public opposition to the use of cruel and degrading practices that occur in the name of drug treatment. We call for research into effective treatments, both psycho-social and medical, for people who use stimulant drugs.

Most people who use drugs, and live with HIV and Hepatitis C, are still unable to access treatment options due to stigma and discrimination. The absence of Opiate Substitution Therapies also makes it harder for people who use drugs to achieve the stability required to access Anti-Retro Viral and Interferon treatments.

We are clearly entering a new chapter with strong and humane leadership from UNAIDs and other key international agencies. People who use drugs must be part of the assessment of the UNAIDS Outcomes. The inclusion of our voices in the planning and review of services is likely to lead to better value for money and more effective outcomes. We believe that interventions with people who use drugs should aim to enable our community members to live full, effective and empowered lives so we can truly be part of the solution rather than being framed as the problem.'

For more information on INPUD's activities, see the new INPUD blog.

© 2018 Harm Reduction International.

Charity number – 1117375 | Company number – 3223265

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