Yesterday, SSDP members in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Austria, Mexico, Ireland, Liberia, Pakistan, and the United States participated in the annual Support Don’t Punish Global Day of Action. Occurring on the same day as the United Nation’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Support Don’t Punish seeks to reclaim the message of the day from prohibitionists by raising awareness of the harms being caused by the War on Drugs. The global campaign aims to promote drug policies that respect human rights and protect public health, to change laws and policies that impede access to harm reduction interventions and other evidence-based services, and to end the criminalization of people who use drugs. Below, check out what SSDP activists did around the world for Support Don’t Punish in 2018.
NigeriaSSDP members in Nigeria held actions on both Monday, June 25th and on the day of action itself. Events were held in numerous cities across the country:
- In Lagos, SSDP members went to the Lagos State Youth Parliament where they engaged in discussions about youth-centered drug policies with representatives of the local government. Students got media attention as they stood outside the Parliament building in SSDP shirts while holding Support Don’t Punish signs.
- SSDP members in Abeokuta, meanwhile, organized several educational talks on the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic campus that focused on human rights, mental health, harm reduction, and why stigmatization is harmful to people who use drugs. The Abeokuta team also spend the previous day participating in a street rally that included participation by law enforcement officials and representatives of the state Ministry of Health.
- At Delta State, SSDP members conducted an educational seminar with high school students modeled after the Just Say Know Peer Education program, continuing the drug education campaign that has been very successful in Nigeria this year.
- Kogi State University students celebrated Support Don’t Punish with a campus march and also discussed 911 Good Samaritan Policies with students, emphasizing the need to help people who use drugs get treatments without the threat of incarceration.
- Finally, in Ibadan, members engaged in a walk to commemorate victims of drug overdose. They invited community members to discuss drug misuse with SSDP students and talk about why the misuse of drugs should be viewed as a medical issue rather than a criminal issue.