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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.

Conference 2019

HR19 Banner

Abaixo para a versão portuguesa

Harm Reduction International (HRI) and Agência Piaget para o Desenvolvimento (APDES) are delighted to announce that the 26th Harm Reduction International Conference – HR19 – will be held in Porto, Portugal from 28 April to 1 May 2019.

Register to attend HR19 here.

For international visitors, this conference will be a unique opportunity to learn about the benefits and lessons learned from Portugal’s progressive approach to drug policy and harm reduction, which included the decriminalisation of the possession and use of all drugs. Since 2001, the country has shown us that decriminalisation partnered with harm reduction can reduce HIV and overdose rates and increase access to vital health and social services. The approach has also highlighted the gaps in this policy-first approach and the need to include people who use drugs in policy making and other decisions about their health and rights.

For locals, the conference will be an exceptional opportunity for community groups, networks of people who use drugs, healthcare and social services stakeholders, law enforcement officials, academics and the wider population to learn about other progress and innovation around the world and to share their own expertise and experience with a global audience. HR19 will also provide a rare opportunity for networking among harm reductionists from Lusophone countries.

Held once every two years in a different country around the world, the Harm Reduction International Conference is the only global meeting for knowledge-sharing, networking, and discussion of best practices in the field of harm reduction. The last conference in Montreal in 2017 was attended by more than 1000 delegates from over 70 countries, including medical and policy experts, harm reduction practitioners, campaigners, and people who use drugs.

HRI and APDES will publish further details about registration and abstract submission by the end of April 2018.

Sign up to receive email updates from HRI here

About Harm Reduction International

Harm Reduction International is a world-leading non-governmental organisation working to promote and expand support for harm reduction as well as reduce drug related harms by promoting evidence-based public health policies and practices, and human rights-based approaches to drug policy. www.hri.global

About Agência Piaget para o Desenvolvimento

APDES is a Portuguese NGDO, working with vulnerable people and communities, and promoting universal access to healthcare, employment and education. Founded in 2004, one of its aims is the empowerment of people and institutions, within national, European and African continents, working with diverse populations such as PWUD, sex workers, inmates, children, youngsters and families. APDES´s profile is oriented to providing proximal intervention to vulnerable people and communities, to producing research on social and healthcare realities, and advocating for fair policies in these areas. APDES has been playing an important role in the national landscape by innovating in several intervention fields, such as the drug phenomenon and Harm Reduction, and in its work with numerous international partners in the development of research and intervention networks. www.apdes.pt  

O Porto irá receber a HR19

A Harm Reduction International e a APDES irão organizar a 26.ª edição da Conferência Internacional de Redução de Riscos (HR19); o evento irá decorrer no Porto (Portugal), entre os dias 28 de abril e 1 de maio.

Para os visitantes, esta conferência permitirá aprofundar o conhecimento sobre os principais benefícios da abordagem progressiva implementada em Portugal, nomeadamente no que diz respeito à descriminalização da posse e uso de drogas. Desde 2001, o país tem vindo a demonstrar que a descriminalização e a redução de riscos podem diminuir as taxas de transmissão de VIH e o número de overdoses, através de um maior acesso a serviços de apoio social e de saúde. Esta abordagem permitiu também identificar lacunas a nível das políticas implementadas, bem como a necessidade de incluir as pessoas que usam drogas nos processos de decisão que influenciam as suas condições de saúde e direitos.

A HR19 será uma excelente oportunidade para conhecer metodologias e intervenções inovadoras a nível global; o evento visa promover a partilha de ideias e conhecimento entre grupos nacionais e internacionais, redes de pessoas que usam drogas, agentes das áreas social e da saúde, representantes de forças policiais, investigadores e a população em geral. A HR19 irá também proporcionar momentos de networking entre os principais atores da área provenientes dos países lusófonos.

Organizada bianualmente, em diferentes países/cidades, a Conferência Internacional de Redução de Riscos assume-se como o principal centro para a partilha de conhecimento, networking e discussão de ‘boas práticas’ no âmbito da redução de riscos. A última edição, organizada em Montreal em 2017 contou com a participação de cerca de 1000 delegações de 70 países, incluindo médicos especialistas e decisores políticos, profissionais da área da redução de riscos, lobistas e pessoas que usam drogas.

A HRI e a APDES irão divulgar mais detalhes acerca da inscrição e da submissão de abstracts até ao final do mês de abril.

Sobre a Harm Reduction International

A Harm Reduction International é uma ONG que visa promover e disseminar estratégias de redução de riscos e reduzir os riscos associados ao uso de drogas, através de políticas e práticas fundamentadas e abordagens baseadas no respeito pelos Direitos Humanos. www.hri.global

Sobre a Agência Piaget para o Desenvolvimento

A APDES é uma ONGD que trabalha com pessoas e comunidades vulneráveis, promovendo o acesso universal à saúde, ao emprego e à educação. Fundada em 2004, um dos seus objetivos é o empoderamento de pessoas/organizações em diferentes países europeus e africanos, beneficiando pessoas que usam drogas, trabalhadores do sexo, reclusos, jovens e famílias.

A APDES visa implementar intervenções de proximidade junto de pessoas e comunidades vulneráveis, desenvolver estudos sobre as dimensões social e de saúde e lutar por políticas mais justas. A organização tem vindo a desempenhar um papel importante a nível nacional, através de intervenções inovadoras (nomeadamente nas áreas do uso de drogas e da redução de riscos) e da cooperação com diversos parceiros internacionais no desenvolvimento de redes de investigação e intervenção. www.apdes.pt

© 2018 Harm Reduction International.

Charity number – 1117375 | Company number – 3223265

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