World Federation Against Drugs (WFAD) is a multilateral community of non-governmental organisations and individuals. Founded in Stockholm, Sweden, 2009, the aims of WFAD is to strengthen prevention, increase access to treatment and to promote recovery. 

The work of WFAD is built on the principles of universal fellowship and basic human and democratic rights. We believe that working for a society free from non-medical user of narcotic drugs will promote peace, human development, democracy, tolerance, freedom and justice. All people have the right to be protected from the harms created by illicit drug use. Furthermore, people with substance use disorders (SUD) have the right to live productive, drug-free lives; and should be supported in their recovery journey.

The work of WFAD is built on the principles of universal fellowship and basic human and democratic rights. We believe that working toward the goal of a drug-free world will promote peace, human development, democracy, tolerance, equality, freedom and justice.

The WFAD recognizes that civil society has the right to fact-based information about the risks and damage caused by illicit drugs. All people have the right to be protected from the harms created by drug use; and people who use drugs have the right to the expectation of living drug-free and having the opportunity to lead productive, working lives.

The WFAD adheres to the Declaration signed at the World Forum Against Drugs in Stockholm, Sweden in September of 2008 (appendix 1). The work of the WFAD will be in accordance to the Basic Principles (appendix 2). The WFAD adheres to Article 33 of the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child that states:

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances.

September 1990

The WFAD holds Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), since 2016.

At the 2020 Annual Congress, the 10-year Strategic Plan was set for the WFAD. The Strategic Plan clarifies the focus for the coming ten years on a number of issues including increased membership, continuation of regional and world forums. The Strategic plan sat two key issues of particular importance, these are:  The Rights of the Child and Women and Drug abuse. Thus, in the coming years the WFAD will continue to advocate for children and women’s rights within the drug policy field, whilst offering capacity strengthening to members on these key issues.

WFAD marks the launch of a global network of organisations which are united behind the UN’s narcotics conventions. WFAD welcomes all individuals and organisations which are campaigning to achieve a society free from the non-medical use of narcotic drugs. The path to achieving this goal is long and beset by problems, which is why unrelenting efforts to gradually reduce drug abuse step by step are so important.

One of WFAD’s tasks is to organize the biannual World Forum Against Drugs. The World Forum Against Drugs is a global conference that works as a meeting point for people from all continents who are working to prevent drug abuse at grass-root level, on a voluntary basis, professionally or as policy makers.

WFAD supports and is guided by the 1961, 1971 and 1988 UN narcotics conventions and the resolution resulting from the 1998 UNGASS-meeting.

WFAD also supports the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which stipulates in Article 33 that children have the right to be protected from the abuse of illicit drugs. WFAD regards the non-medicinal use of narcotic substances as a severe public health problem which results in major problems for society.

Countries have worked together for more than one hundred years in order to prevent the problem of non-medical use of narcotic drugs. Much has been achieved, but much more can be done in the future to prevent young people from experimenting with illegal drugs and thus exposing themselves to the risk of becoming addicted.

WFAD believes that it is important to identify and promote good examples of policies and programs that are efficient and make a difference to reduce drug abuse. Every day of the year, in all corners of the world, people do important work to prevent drug abuse. It is important for those involved to get to know each other, exchange experiences and establish networks across borders and between continents.

Major landmarks of WFAD, 2009-2023

  • 2008; The 1st World Forum Against Drugs was arranged by 10 Swedish organisations, in Stockholm Sweden
  • 2009; World Federation Against Drugs was funded by the organisations present at the 1st Forum, with the aim to harness the power of the NGOs around the world to reverse the drug problem.
  • 2009; WFAD took active part in the international debate around illicit drugs, among other activities WFAD was present at the CND meeting in Vienna for the first time
  • 2010; WFAD published the report “Children’s rights and drug use” [1]
  • 2010; The 2nd World Forum Against Drugs was arranged by WFAD attracting participants from all over the world. In connection with the Forum, the first congress of WFAD was held.
  • 2010; WFAD was present at the Ministerial meeting about illicit drugs at the African Union
  • 2011; WFAD co-hosted a side event at the CND meeting in Vienna, “The Right of Children to Be Protected from Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances”
  • 2012; WFAD published the book “The Protection of Children from Illicit Drugs – A Minimum Human Rights Standard”
  • 2012; WFAD co-hosted a side event in Vienna about the right of the child to be protected against illicit drugs
  • 2012; WFAD arranged the 3rd World Forum Against Drugs in Stockholm, Sweden with around 450 participants from 60 countries.
  • 2012; WFAD’s International president Sven-Olov Carlsson was one of the major speakers at the CIJ conference in Cancun, Mexico.
  • 2013; WFAD co-hosted a side event at the CND meeting in Vienna around cannabis and psychosis
  • 2013; WFAD co-hosted three national seminars in Africa around prevention and children’s right to be protected from illicit drugs
  • 2014; WFAD arranged the 4th World Forum Against Drugs in Stockholm, Sweden, under the patronage of H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden.
  • 2014; WFAD partook in preparations for the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) meeting. WFAD co-applied and was given the support by the Ministry of Health, Sweden, to produce a report under the umbrella of Drug Policy Future: “The Future of Drug Policy”.
  • 2015; The Future of Drug Policy report was finalised and disseminated, a short version “Prevent, Don’t Promote” was prepared for the UNGASS session. The statement was signed by over 300 organisations across the globe.
  • 2016; WFAD arranged the 5th World Forum Against Drugs in Vienna, Austria, in connection to the 59th Commission on Narcotic Drugs in preparation for the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem.
  • 2016; The UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem took place in New York, USA, 19-21 April. The WFAD Secretary General was invited as part of the Swedish Delegation.
  • 2016; Involvement in the Civil Society Task Force, where WFAD was represented by the Secretary General, as the Global Voice of Prevention. Two WFAD Board members served as regional representatives.
  • 2017; Intervention by WFAD’s board member Ezekwesiri Eluchie at the CND Post-UNGASS thematic Intersessional Meeting, Vienna.
  • 2017; WFAD statement at the 60th Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), in Vienna.
  • 2017; WFAD co-hosted a Regional Conference in Lebanon. In collaboration with WFAD and under the patronage of H.E Pierre Bou Assy, Minister of Social Affairs in Lebanon, Nusroto Al-Anashid Association organized an international convention on Drugs in Beirut, Lebanon on May 3rd & 4th, 2017.
  • 2018; WFAD co-hosted a side event during the 61st Session of the CND: Implementation of the UNGASS Outcome document in Africa: Possibilities and Challenges.
  • 2018; WFAD arranged the largest yet, 6th World Forum Against Drugs in Gothenburg, Sweden, 14-15 May, with 370 participants from across the globe. The 6th World Forum marked the ten-year anniversary of the first World Forum Against Drugs.
  • 2018; Two ongoing projects, with partners, in the Balkan region and Belarus.
  • 2018; WFAD Participation in the Conference: Substance Abuse Free Environment, SAFE, hosted by Fourth Wave Foundation in Kerala, India.
  • 2019; WFAD membership reached 260 member organisations.
  • 2019; WFAD partook in the 1st Assembly of the Istanbul Initiative, Istanbul 12-13 June.
  • 2019; WFAD invited to present at the National Conference on Substance Abuse and Family Related Interventions, hosted by the Dep. of Social Development in South Africa.
  • 2019; Granted a continuation of the ‘Balkan Project’ to start in 2020, a pre-study granted with members in the East-African Region scheduled for 2020. Granted two projects, as co-applicants, in Iran. Study visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo to take place in March 2020.
  • 2019; WFAD co-hosted four Regional Forums with members: “Global Drug Policy Summit”, Arizona, USA June 26th; “Asian Regional Forum Against Drugs” in Cochin, India, 25-26 September; Asia Pacific Forum Against Drugs: “APFAD-WFAD” in Singapore 7-8 November; and the “Regional Forum on Drug Addiction and Recovery” in Serbia, 19-20 November.
  • 2020; 7th World Forum Against Drugs in Vienna, Austria on March 1st.
  • 2020; In line with the Strategic Plan adopted during the Congress in March, 2020, the Gender Working Group as established. The Gender Working Group promotes the inclusion of gender-sensitive approaches in the activities of WFAD, including webinars, side-events of CND, and regional and international forums.
  • 2020/21; Due to the global lockdown and inability to travel, WFAD organised various webinars and webinar series for all members.
  • 2020; in December 2020, the WFAD DRC office was launched in relation to the project Sober Youth, Healthier Communities – Transforming Violent Youth in Kinshasa’.
  • 2021; WFAD officially partnered with the Recovered Users Network (RUN)
  • 2021; WFAD published their first Membership Magazine in English and French
  • 2021; WFAD organised the first capacity-strengthening training for members in June 2021 on Gender Training Tools
  • 2021; In September, the collaborative project ‘Crafting Resilience‘, together with Prevention for Progress started its implementation in Tbilisi, Georgia. The project got extended in September 2022.
  • 2021; WFAD, in collaboration with the Danish Network of Cannabis Treaters and Förbundet mot Rusgift, hosted the Nordic Summit on Cannabis in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 27th and 28th.
  • 2022; The collaborative project ‘Strengthening Capacities – Empowering Children‘ got implemented together with Fourth Wave Foundation in Kerala, India. It also included the International Forum on Children Rights, which took place in November 2022.
  • 2022; WFAD organised the second Capacity Strengthening Training Seminar for Members, focusing on Children’s Rights.
  • 2022; The 8th World Forum Against Drugs and 27th ECAD’s Mayors Conference took place in June 2022 in Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • 2022; in November 2022, the Second Regional Forum on Drug Addiction and Recovery was held in Belgrade, Serbia, organised by our partners Proslavi Oporavak (Celebrate Recovery – Bosnia and Herzegovina), Izlazak (Serbia), and Preporod (Montenegro).
  • 2023; the third capacity strengthening training seminars for members took place in May 2023 and focused on advocacy on funding and prevention.
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