Gadejuristen - The Danish Street Lawyers

A short movie about the Street Lawyers in Copenhagen

The Street Lawyers (Gadejuristen) provide a fascinating example of the way legal assistance can be implemented among street based drug users. The organization is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and provides legal aid to the most disadvantaged drug users in the city. In addition to sterile injecting equipment they distribute pocket size cards with questions and answers about drug laws and harm reduction. When our video team attended the meeting of the International Network of People Who Use Drugs (INPUD) in Copenhagen in November 2008, they filmed the daily activities of the NGO (as part of our EDPI project).


Street Lawyers are among the best known advocates of the human rights of drug users in Denmark and they played an important role in the promotion of innovative ways to reduce drug related harms. The Danish government made an important step two years ago when it decided to introduce heroin maintenance for the most vulnerable group of heroin users. The program will start soon. However, there is no supervised injection facility in Denmark (like Insite in Vancouver), so many people use heroin on the streets, in a risky environment where they face police harassment as well. The local police designated so called no-go-zones in the city center. Homeless drug users are not allowed to enter these zones, even if this makes it difficult to approach the needle exchange service. There is still a lot to do for Gadejuristen, who celebrated their 10th birthday this year. We congratulate on their succesful advocacy efforts and wish them a happy birthday with this short movie!
Posted by Peter Sarosi
THIS ARTICLE IS A DUPLICATION OF THE ORIGINAL AT DRUGREPORTER.NET. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO POST A COMMENT, PLEASE DO SO ON DRUGREPORTER BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK

Share

Related articles

A New Approach to Marijuana in Washington

Watch our new movie on the new approach to drug policy in the state of Washington, where people voted yes to tax and regulate marijuana

They want to imprison him illegally

Orosz Béla was fined 50 thousand forints for a minor offence. In a letter sent on August 8th, he informed the police that because of his poverty, he cannot pay the fine, but would like to work off his debts through community service. He did not receive a response from the police. Two months later, the courts informed him that they will hold a hearing regarding the conversion of his fine into a prison sentence. This procedure is illegal; the judicial authorities disregarded the laws relating to offences.

 

HCLU and ERRC have contacted the ombudsman regarding evictions

HCLU (Hungarian Civil Liberties Union) and ERRC (European Roma Rights Center) have called into account Máté Szabó, Parliamentary Commissioner of Civil Rights in Hungary, with a corporate submission in order to conduct an investigation, and gain an explanation as to why people living in abject poverty are being evicted from local governments’ tenements- the equivalent of making them homeless. Specialists of HCLU Roma Programme, doing fieldwork in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplém county (Hungary), have received numerous annunciations from Roma families who had been evicted or were on the verge of being evicted by the local governments.