Harm Reduction International (HRI)

Legal basis (mandates) and mission

HRI is a leading nongovernmental organization working to reduce drug-related harms by promoting evidence-based public health policies and practices and human rights-based approaches to drug policy through an integrated programme of research, analysis, advocacy and civil society strengthening. With over 8000 members worldwide, HRI is the largest membership-based global harm reduction association. The organization is an nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Topics of interest in the prison setting

  • Infectious disease monitoring
  • Reduction of ill-treatment and improvement of prison conditions
  • Drug use and harm reduction measures
  • Right to health of prisoners
  • Death penalty for drug offences

Strategic operations

HRI works to reduce the negative health, social and human rights impact of drug use and drug policy – such as the increased vulnerability to HIV and hepatitis infection among people who inject drugs – by promoting evidence-based public health policies and practices, and human rights-based approaches to drug policy. HRI is an influential global source of research, policy/legal analysis and advocacy on drug use, health and human rights issues. In 2015–2016, HRI will be working in the prison setting on the development of a tool for rights-based prison monitoring mechanisms to monitor infectious diseases in prisons. The tool can be of use for national, regional and international monitoring bodies in prison.

Target groups

  • Policy-makers
  • Governments
  • International and European organizations
  • Practitioners and professionals working in prison and harm reduction settings
  • NGOs and other entities of civil society
  • Human rights-based monitoring bodies
  • People who use drugs and people living with HIV and other infections

Geographic region of focus