Category Archives: Publications

Decriminalizing People Who Use Drugs: A Primer for Municipal and Provincial Governments

As the COVID-19 pandemic and the overdose crisis sweep across Canada, all policymakers have an obligation to adopt evidence-based measures that uphold the health and safety of people who use drugs. This includes municipal and provincial governments, who can take immediate steps to minimize the harms of current drug laws by decriminalizing drug possession for […]

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Gendering the Scene: Women, Gender-Diverse People, and Harm Reduction in Canada – Full report

At writing, Canada is facing an unprecedented overdose crisis that is killing at alarming rates. Canada’s ongoing fixation on criminal prohibition as the primary approach to addressing drug use has led to a situation in which people who use drugs continue to face criminalization, political and social hostility, and limited access to harm reduction and health […]

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Gendering the Scene: Women, Gender-Diverse People, and Harm Reduction in Canada – Summary report

There are marked differences between men, women, and gender-diverse people in terms of their drug use and how laws and policies affect them. However, insufficient attention is paid to the needs of women and gender-diverse people who use drugs and their access to health services, including harm reduction services. This is especially true for gender-diverse […]

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Submission to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women

In advance of the adoption of the List of Issues Prior to Reporting for Canada’s periodic review under the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (“CEDAW Convention”), to be held during the 76th Pre-Sessional Working Group (11 – 15 November, 2019), the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network (“HIV Legal Network”) […]

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Joint written statement on Violations of The Right to Life in The Context of Drug Control

Harm Reduction International and supporting organisations wish to congratulate the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions for her latest report, and for her ongoing efforts to highlight and address heinous violations of fundamental rights committed in the context of drug control. While countries are increasingly recognising drugs as a primarily health-related issue, we […]

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Joint written statement on The Disproportionate Impact of The Death Penalty for Drug Offences on Foreign Nationals

Harm Reduction International (HRI) and supporting organisations welcome the report by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, and wish to take this opportunity to comment on the disproportionate impact of the criminal justice response to drugs on foreign nationals, including migrant women, in countries that retain the death penalty for drug offences. […]

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Joint written statement on Limitations to Judicial Independence in The Context of Drug Control

Harm Reduction International and supporting organisations welcome the Report by the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, as well as his March 2019 statement (co-authored with the Special Rapporteur on the right to health) on drug courts; which warned against the dangers of drug courts as manifestations of the abuse of the […]

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Joint written statement on Protecting and Promoting the Health of People Who Use Drugs

Harm Reduction International (HRI) and supporting organisations welcome the report of the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health on promoting mental health through a holistic approach, and the attention paid to underlying determinants, the impact of discrimination, and the need to […]

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Report to OHCHR on “human rights in the administration of justice”

Introduction People who use drugs retain their fundamental rights, including the right to health and including in detention settings, and States have a heightened, positive obligation to protect those most vulnerable, and/or under their direct control. Regrettably, the criminalisation of drug use and drug possession for personal use, in the context of repressive drug policies, […]

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The Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure in Canada: Current Status and the Need for Change

This document provides an overview of the current laws and policies governing HIV non-disclosure in Canada. Sections include: A legal obligation to disclose HIV-positive status to a sexual partner in some circumstances What does “realistic possibility” of transmission mean? When is there no legal obligation to disclose? Recent developments in law and policy Federal and […]

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