Side event: Swedish side event on user participation

On 10 December 2015, Sweden and Finland organized a side event on the participation of people who use drugs in drug policy formulation. The Swedish government spoke about the support that they provide for the Swedish Drug User Union and health and social services for people who use drugs. The Swedish government declared that it was proposing an operational recommendation in the UNGASS outcome document promoting the participation of people who use drugs and civil society organisations in drug policy formulation.

The Finnish government representative spoke about how they were the first in the EU to propose the participation of people who use drugs in drug policy processes.

Berne Stalenkrantz of the Swedish Drug User Union spoke about the need and rationale for meaningful involvement of people who use drugs under the theme ‘nothing about us, without us’. Berne talked about the problem with people speaking on behalf of people who use drugs because they think users are not capable of adequately speaking for themselves. He mentioned the critical need for long-term core funding for drug user groups to ensure their empowerment and meaningful involvement. He called on governments, stakeholders to:

“Enter the loop: #humanrights = grassroots activism = empowerment = democratic inclusion”

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