Safura Abdool Karim, LLB, LLM Candidate in Global Health Law at Georgetown Law, and Sean Bland, JD, Associate at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown Law discuss criminal immunity for sex workers and people who use drugs.
This presentation will discuss criminal immunity as a harm reduction measure for vulnerable populations such as people who inject drugs and sex workers. In response to the burgeoning opioid crisis, a majority of states within the United States have adopted laws providing for expanded naloxone access and criminal immunity for individuals who seek medical attention for an overdose. However, the scope of these laws and their requirements vary from state to state. More recently, Alaska adopted a law providing criminal immunity for sex workers. The law is unprecedented and brings with it a host of potential benefits and problems. This presentation will discuss different laws and examine the potential issues that may arise from their implementation.
The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center is the premier center for health law, scholarship, and policy. Its mission is to contribute to a more powerful and deeper understanding of the multiple ways in which law can be used to improve the public’s health, using objective evidence as a measure. The O’Neill Institute seeks to advance scholarship, science, research, and teaching that will encourage key decision-makers in the public, private, and civil society to employ the law as a positive tool for enabling more people in the United States and throughout the world to lead healthier lives.