Beyond human rights and public health: Citizenship issues in harm reduction

Jia-Xin Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


There have been debates amongst harm reduction practitioners regarding the relationship of universal human rights vis-à-vis public health demands. The ideological debates around these two slippery concepts often obfuscate the important theme of citizenship. The author, therefore, argues for the perspective of citizenship as an alternative to comprehend harm reduction practises more thoroughly. An introduction of the concept of citizenship is followed by a case example of Taiwan's harm reduction policy-making, wherein injection drug users were subjected to various disciplinary actions and made into citizen addicts. It is hoped that more harm reduction researchers will have increased familiarity with the notion of citizenship as a useful tool to examine the power dynamics taking place in the name of harm reduction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-188
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Citizenship
  • Harm reduction
  • Human rights
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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