Articulation Seminar on Health and Human Rights in the Northern Region and the VII North Meeting of Harm Reduction (Enord)


Rio Branco, 29 June, 2016 -  The UNODC Program Officer, Nara Santos, attended the  Seminário de Articulação em Saúde e Direitos Humanos da Região Norte  e do   VII Encontro Norte de Redução de Danos  (Enord) (Articulation Seminar on Health and Human Rights of the Northern Region and the VII North Meeting of Harm Reduction (Enord)), which have marked the State Drug Week.

Embracing different views and perspectives, the event counted with the participation of health professionals, managers, representatives of social movements and people living with HIV and viral hepatitis, in addition to 110 participants who came from other regions of the country. These gatherings sought to discuss strategies and actions that promote human rights and at the same time, reduce the discrimination suffered by users, particularly those who have HIV and viral hepatitis.

Discussions covered the current drug policy in the country and how the harm reduction movement must be guided by a more humanitarian citizen policy. This proposal is in line with the World Drug Report 2016, launched at a crucial time for discussion on the subject, after a special session of the UN General Assembly (UNGASS 2016).

Nara highlighted in her presentation how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reveal the transversality of the drug problem in scope and, consequently, require an analysis and individual strategies, community and national. She presented and discussed the theme from the perspective of the following SDGs:

10)   Reduced inequalities, highlighting the link between drug use, stigmatization and social exclusion, driven by the difficulty of comprehension about addiction as a health condition and thereby jeopardizing their treatment and encouraging the marginalization;

3)   Good health, in the prevention and treatment of drug should promote well-being at all ages, investing in their fragilities and difficulties;

5)   Gender equality, as once men and women have different patterns of use, policies assigned to the use of illicit substances need to be prepared for these special features;

1)   No poverty, since drug use is closely related to socio-economic factors affecting the personal and community development;

16)   Peace and justice, the drug problem, particularly for its psychoactive effect or as a primary objective, triggers different levels of violence, requiring a responsible, effective and affordable justice system;

17)   Partnership for the Goals, the international partnership for sustainable development, must be sensitive to its effects in different regions, whether direct or indirect.

The event aimed to discuss new proposals and necessary articulations to the drug problem. By not limiting the subject only to the issue of trafficking, the seminar helped to think of new possibilities of harm reduction, especially with regard to health, human rights, gender and sustainable development.

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