There are often stories about the numerous human rights abuses suffered by drug users. To date there has been no quantification or recording of these abuses in a structured manner. In 2015, with funding from Mainline, Open Society Foundations and AmfAR, a surveillance project was initiated. We set up a system for PWID to report human rights violations experienced (Needles and syringes confiscated or broken, harm reduction packs taken, arrested for syringe possession, medications taken, detention without cause or processing, assaults). Data collection was integrated into the operations of a needle and syringe programme. Peer outreach workers recorded data using a paper form with tick-boxes. Data was entered into a spreadsheet for descriptive reporting. Data Locations were geospatially mapped and the nature of law enforcement engagement quantified.
The first report, for quarter four of 2015, was released during the RUN2016 SA Drug Policy Week. This was reported on in the press, including in Health-e news. The report can be downloaded from their report: http://www.health-e.org.za/2016/02/03/report-step-up-human-rights-report/
We will be adding the latest drug policy news here, as well as providing updates for the drug policy week.
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