Caught in the Crossfire: Health and Human Rights Impacts of COVID-19 Measures on People who Use Drugs in Indonesia and the Philippines

Publications - Released in 2021

COVID-19, as well as government responses to the pandemic, are having unprecedented impacts on peoples’ lives, and are exacerbating vulnerabilities and inequalities. Since the early stages of the pandemic, many governments have resorted to securitised strategies centred around control and punishment, often leading to policies skewed towards repression and control, rather than health, transparency, and socio-economic support. Furthermore, the expansion of law enforcement powers has in several contexts resulted in increased criminalisation, surveillance, and targeting. As a result, populations already vulnerable and marginalised have experienced heightened policing, discrimination, and detrimental impacts on their rights and health.

While the impacts of these policies on vulnerable communities such as women, migrant workers, and refugees are well-documented, less information is available on the repercussions on the rights and health of people who use drugs and their communities. This report presents and analyses the findings of research conducted with and among people who use drugs, service providers, and community paralegals in Indonesia and the Philippines, exploring how COVID-19 measures impacted on their livelihood, security, health, and human rights.


 Publication(1.01 MB)


  • Harm Reduction International (HRI)