The Meaning of Rights

Earlier today, I watched two videos that on the surface might not have that much to do with each other, but within the context of drug policy and the work of both the Open Society Foundations and the Drug Policy Alliance…well, they are clearly aligned. The first video is about human rights, plan and simple. Distinguished academics, public officials and celebrities discuss the importance of human rights and the need to continue

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claiming our rights. Sometimes I get goosebumps watching videos like this because it reminds me of all the work we have in front of us, but also all that has been achieved throughout the world. I hope you enjoy.

The second video is from the International Harm Reduction Conference which was held last week in Lithuania. This conference brings together the best and brightest in harm reduction, as well as current and former drug users, sex workers and advocates. Although I wasn’t able to attend, I have been watching some of the videos and this video of Ethan Nadelmann (executive director of DPA) is one of the best. Ethan is always an excellent speaker, but you can see in this video how the discourse on rights has expanded. It is both about the human rights of users, but also about reducing the harm produced by these failed policies.

These two videos create a strong argument for connecting drug policy and human rights. I hope these provide a space for reflecting on that to you as well.

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