Aracaju hosts National Meeting on Drugs and Harm Reduction

Brasília, 17 November 2014 - Between the 11 and 14 of November, Aracaju, the capital of the Brazilian state Sergipe, hosted the 11 th National Meeting on Harm Reduction, with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). During these days, activists, researchers and governmental and international organisms' representatives discussed the Brazilian public policies related to the abusive use of alcohol and other drugs, and exchanged experiences about the topic.

     Technical Meeting

Previously to the meeting it was held a Technical Meeting on Strategies for Prevention of STD, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis for People who Use Drugs. The main result of the meeting was the creation of a working group about the harm reduction. According to Nara Santos, Programme officer of UNOD C, it is necessary to have more articulation with the National Congress, targeting the creation of spaces for the discussion about Human Rights and the use of drugs.  Monica Malta, from Fiocruz, suggested the formation of a Working group to discuss the establishment of financing programs and research in Harm Reduction, and to identify best practices which can be replicated to other regions of the country.

During the opening ceremony, tributes were made to the bodies participating in the partnership and which help in building better policies for Harm Reduction. UNODC has been honoured by the Brazilian Association of Harm Reduction (ABORDA) for its work always progressive in the fight for a better world. The award was received by Nara Santos, also recognized for her personal commitment to this partnership.

Nara Santos receives tribute to UNODC

As part of the meeting activities, 50 selected works were displayed in a poster format, bringing experiences in STD / AIDS, Viral Hepatitis and Mental Health as well as reflections on interdisciplinarity, training and social control. The meeting program also addressed other important issues as the international networking and the National Congress debate on marijuana use.

To Domiciano Siqueira, president of the Brazilian Association of Harm Reduction (ABORDA), the promoter of the event, "the meeting is the highlight of the discussion on coping with the issue of alcohol and drugs in Brazil, as it meets all segments working that work with the thematic and it provides wide-ranging exchange of experiences".

At the end of the meeting, a letter was drafted with all the points discussed and agreed during the event. The letter highlights the key points that need to be improved to face reality and to an effective harm reduction in Brazil: healthcare, education, welfare, housing and restoration of human rights in Brazil. To see more details of the letter, click here (in Portuguese).

The activity had the support of the STD / AIDS and Viral Hepatitis of the Ministry of Health, State Health Department of Sergipe, Municipal Health Secretariat of Aracaju, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), among others.

The complete program is available on


 Opening of the Meeting

UNODC's lecture

First day of debates


Closure of the Meeting


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