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Human Rights Documentation and Advocacy: A Guide for Organizations of People Who Use Drugs

By: Karyn Kaplan, Open Society Institute

This guidebook was designed for any advocate or organization working with people who use drugs that is aware of or has experienced human rights violations. Abuses against drug users are countless, but can include police harassment or physical abuse, discrimination by medical or social service providers, violations of medical privacy, wrongful and indefinite detention, and so on.

This guidebook was designed to speak to people who use drugs and other activists who are ready to take action to protect and fulfill the human rights of people who use drugs, and demand that governments take responsibility for their international legal obligations. It was designed for you if you want to speak truth to power, not shrink in the face of power; if you want to build a community of human rights advocates working toward a shared goal; if you want to dignify your experiences and turn them into weapons to end the same abuse of others.

This book provides a basic overview of the principles and systems of international human rights law and describes how advocates for drug user rights can monitor and document abuses and advocate to improve the situation. It offers relevant resources and information for documenting, advocating, suing, and complaining about government failures to respect, protect, and fulfill core human rights responsibilities.