The role of video sharing in drug law reform advocacy

In Porto for a conference of the Correlation Network (www.correlation-net.org). Tomorrow we start our second meeting developing an updated version of the European Peer Support Manual. However, today the conference started with a series of plenary speeches.

The speech that really caught my imagination was Peter Sarosi’s review of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union’s use of video sharing as an advocacy tool for drug law reform campaigning. Peter used the HCLU intervention in the run up to last year’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) meeting in Vienna. Many people will be aware of HCLU’s excellent range of video advocacy tools on a range of topics that have helped highlight the stupidity of prohibition, the cruelty of human rights abuses against people who use drugs, and the merits of harm reduction. In this speech, Peter highlighted the extent of the background development work that had led up to the HCLU demonstration outside the CND meeting last March and their excellent videos from the event.

HCLU’s work shows the power of videos and creative campaigns in engaging people to express their views on prohibition through poster design, cartoon creation and online activism. This on-going campaign led to greater coverage of the CND meeting in local papers around the world, it exposed the Head of UNODC to the views of the many people around the world who oppose prohibition, and ensured that the deliberations of those running the war on drugs were properly exposed to public scrutiny.

HCLU’s work demonstrates the value of a clear strategy, creative interventions, and the use of virtual technologies in drug law reform work. Impressively over 100,000 watched the HCLU videos of the UN event. Such approaches will ensure that those overseeing the failed War on Drugs will no longer be able to operate in secrecy away from public accountability and comment.

It was also a great chance to see the video which included INPUD activists in our first action outside the UN in Vienna a year ago. Next week activists will be back again in Vienna for this year’s CND meeting. A much smaller scale engagement for INPUD but none-the-less HCLU and INPUD will continue to open a window onto a meeting that has such an impact on our lives and rights.

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About Erin

Freelance writer and journalist for the global drug user press
This entry was posted in conference, INPUD and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The role of video sharing in drug law reform advocacy

  1. Dear Mathew, Hi! My name is Ruth and I have been working on the frontlines on behalf of Injection drug users for over ten years now, both as an active user and after. My center is in Denver and we are still pushing forward as we are behind a good 20 yrs when it comes to policy and services. It was my great fortune to be tutored under Monique Whalen who opened our center and taught me everything I know. After leaving to return to her native France last year she saw you speak at a conferance and said we had to get in touch! That you were inspireing and being informed by your work would help us to keep moveing in the right direction with our own users group the IDU Advisory Commity. Thank You in advance for any help you can offer and for all the work you do on behalf of users everywhere. Sincerly, Ruthie

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