Thursday, 13 December 2007

Sweden, harm reduction and the right to health: An update

Today, the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights releaseed its "List of Issues", a series of questions for the Swedish government on its implementation of the International Covenant on Econimic Social and Cultural Rights.

In its fifth 'Periodic Report' to the Committee, Sweden had ommitted all mention of illegal drug use and harm reduction. HR2 and the Swedish Drug Users Union requested, in November, that the Committee raise this with the Swedish government.

We are very pleased that the Committee has, indeed, taken up this request and has asked the Swedes to "provide disaggregated data concerning the incidence of HIV/AIDS, in particular regarding the coincidence of drug use and HIV/AIDS and indicate how successful harm reduction measures have been (such as needle exchange programmes), whether they are foreseen to be scaled, and whether such programmes are foreseen in detention facilities?"

We now await the Swedish government's response, which must be in time for its meeting with the Committee in November 2008