The HIV Justice Network is a proud supporter of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign now in its ninth year. Tomorrow, Saturday 26 June, is the campaign’s yearly high point, the Global Day of Action.
According to the campaign’s website, “Support.Don’t Punish is a global grassroots-centred initiative in support of harm reduction and drug policies that prioritise public health and human rights. The campaign seeks to put harm reduction on the political agenda by strengthening the mobilisation capacity of communities targeted by the “war on drugs” and their allies, opening dialogue with policy makers, and raising awareness among the media and the public.”
The theme for this year’s Global Day of Action is “Undoing the ‘war’, building the future that our communities have always deserved”. The date, 26th June is symbolic as it is used by most governments to commemorate the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to highlight their so-called ‘achievements’ in “the war on drugs.”
The Support. Don’t Punish campaign aligns with the following key messages:
- The drug control system is broken and in need of reform.
- People who use drugs should no longer be criminalised.
- People involved in the drug trade should not face harsh or disproportionate punishments, where retained.
- The death penalty should never be imposed for drug offences.
- Drug policy should focus on health, well-being, and harm reduction.
- Drug policy budgets need rebalancing to ensure health and harm reduction-based responses are adequately financed.
Last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Global Day of Action saw 288 events in 239 participating cities in 90 countries. The activities organised were incredibly varied and involved over 150 community representatives. In twelve of the regions, networks of people who use drugs were joined by initiatives from convergent movements (including people living with HIV, sex workers, and service providers), strengthening a solidarity block against criminalisation.
This year, we urge you to join the Support.Don’t Punish Global Day of Action. Visit their homepage to check out where activities are taking place near you, and use these resources to amplify the campaign’s messages on social media, including on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.