For information on harm reduction and human rights in light of COVID-19, visit our COVID-19 statement and resources page.
The province of BC is committed to a human rights-based approach to the overdose crisis (OERC Terms of Reference), and the 2019 Human Rights Education Project (HREP) was a community-based education project to decrease overdoses and overdose deaths. The resulting Toolkit focuses on the right to health and the right of all British Columbians to be free from the harmful effects of discrimination.
It uses information collected from people who use drugs (PWUD) in BC (compiled and reported in Project Inclusion report, by Pivot Legal Society), national and international sources.
Guiding Principles – Human Rights and Health Equity. How the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and BC Human Rights Code connect to health services, provincial and municipal responsibilities.
Guiding Principles – Drug Use as a Health and Rights Issue Health leaders in BC position drug use and the overdose crisis as an issue of health and not criminality.
Surveying Conditions in BC Community research project Project Inclusion by Pivot Legal Society provides information on anti-homelessness and anti-substance user stigma in BC, including recommendations for change.
Tools for Action
How to Engage People with Lived Experience Understanding peoples’ lived experience is essential in a community response to the overdose crisis. This section includes practical tools for meaningful inclusion of people with lived experience in community work.
Beyond Stigma-Reduction – Putting Rights First How stigma impacts human rights. This section includes stigma reduction education tools.
Community Action Teams: Templates for Change Change may introduce difficult discussions, but the rights of people who use drugs are non-negotiable. This section includes guides for working with municipalities, healthcare, police, and more.
Each section of the Human Rights Education Project Toolkit offers resources learn more about human rights and health, and handouts to help in educating communities. The Select Handouts at a Glance page features a quick look at the resources from the entire Tools for Action section.
More resources can be found on our Drug Use and Overdose Response page.
Please note that the information in this toolkit is for general information only and should not be taken or relied upon as legal advice. If you have questions about a specific situation, consult a lawyer.