DDN July_Aug_2022 DDN July/August 2022 - Page 20



Juan Fernandez and Jamie Bridge look back at the Support Don ’ t Punish campaign ’ s decade of local actions against the global ‘ war on drugs ’

As always , 26 June marked the United Nations ’ ‘ International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking ’ – a day in which many governments around the world choose to ‘ celebrate ’ their efforts to interdict drug markets and arrest those involved ( including people who use drugs ). Historically , this date has even been used for public executions of drug offenders . But , ten years ago , a bold new campaign was launched to reclaim the narrative of the day , and to promote more humane drug policies : Support Don ’ t Punish .

The initial brief was simple – design a message and some visuals that a handful of country partners from the Dutch governmentfunded PITCH Project could use to promote harm reduction and decriminalisation . On 26 June 2013 , we were blown away when we learned about campaign activities happening in 41 cities and 22 countries around the world , most completely unrelated to the project ! Support Don ’ t Punish has continued to grow in size and influence since then .
Around 26 June 2022 , on the 10th Global Day of Action , thousands of people have been mobilised through a range of activities in at least 281 cities across 91 countries . In each country , local partners have the freedom to design their own events and approaches – and even the campaign brand and logo has been widely translated , adapted and personalised over the years . Crucially , each local partner also decides on their key advocacy messages – as long as these fit under the broad Support Don ’ t Punish principles ( see opposite page ).
Materials , leaflets , logos , designs and ideas are provided whenever possible by the International Drug Policy Consortium ( IDPC ), a global civil society network that is also