EHRA announces the General Meeting and Regional Meetings in Russia and South-Eastern Europe regions

On May 21 – June 4, 2018 Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) conducts the General Meeting of its members. During the fortnight, members of EHRA will have online-voting for six main issues:

  1. Approval of EHRA financial report for 2017 year;
  2. Approval of Regulations of the General and Regional members’ meetings of EHRA;
  3. Approval of Regulations of the Steering Committee of EHRA;
  4. Approval to prolong terms for 2 more months for 5 members of the Steering Committee and shorten term of 2 months for 1 member;
  5. Approval of the timeline of the Regional meetings to elect Steering Committee members;
  6. Approval of EHRA Advisory Board.

All members approved by EHRA Steering Committee may participate in the General Meeting. At the moment, there are 205 members. The full list of members is available on the EHRA website – http://harmreductioneurasia.org/members/

Members from the regions of Russia and South-Eastern Europe will also vote for the Steering Committee members to represent their region. Please, find information about the candidates to the Steering Committee to represent Russia and South-Eastern Europe here: http://harmreductioneurasia.org/regional-meetings-of-ehra-members-to-elect-steering-committee-members-in-russia-and-south-eastern-europe/

Details on the voting procedure and participation can be clarified by contacting Eliza Kurcevic via e-mail: members@harmreductioneurasia.org

Apply for additional scholarships for AIDS2018

Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) is the only region in the world where HIV epidemic continues to grow. The XXII International AIDS Conference, which takes place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands pays special attention to EECA region. This provides a good opportunity to draw attention of international community to key challenges that limit access to HIV prevention, treatment and care services in EECA region.

The voice of communities and civil society must be heard loudly. Therefore, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association, together with AFEW International, are doing everything possible to increase the participation of communities and civil society at AIDS2018. We have mobilized financial resources to award scholarships for up to 10 community and civil society representatives to cover their conference related costs.

Inclusion criteria for scholarship award

The applicant must:

  • belong to community / civil society from EECA region;
  • have a profile on the conference website: http://profile.aids2018.org/;
  • have a confirmation from the International AIDS Society (IAS) about submitted thesis(s) via aids2018.org website whether thesis accepted as an oral presentation, for poster session or rejected);
  • have a response from the IAS Scholarship Committee about status of the scholarship (rejected or partially supported).

Thematic priorities:

  • Advocacy for changing repressive, discriminatory and criminalizing laws, and law enforcement practices, as well as challenge stigma against key populations and PLHIV in EECA region.
  • Advocacy for meaningful participation of communities in planning, implementation and monitoring of HIV programs at national or local level.
  • Advocacy for ensuring financial sustainability of harm reduction programs, as well as other evidence-based programs for key populations.

Timeframe:

  • deadline for submission – May 14 (next Monday)
  • results of the competition – May 15 (Tuesday)

Such a tight deadline is because May 17 is the last day when conference registration fee is available at reduced price. We want to complete the process by this date to allow more people get supported.

Selection criteria:

  • The content of thesis covers one or more thematic priorities;
  • Presented practice has an obvious and tangible impact on HIV programs at national or local level;
  • Presented practice efficient, sustainable and can be replicated in other countries

The following information will be considered when deciding on the scholarship awards:

  • Key populations (PWUD, MSM, LGBTI, SW, PLHIV);
  • Thesis approved as a poster or oral presentation;
  • Partial aids2018.org scholarship awarded;
  • EHRA membership;
  • Applicant participated in the abstracts mentorship program organized by EHRA/AFEW/Amsterdam Youth Force.

Complete an online form to apply for a full or partial scholarship, which may cover conference fee, flights and accommodation related to AIDS2018.

All questions address to igor@harmreductioneurasia.org

“A good start gives hope for further success!”

2017 became a turning point for the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association. The history of our organization has been started exactly in 2017, when EHRA was registered by the initiative of harm reduction activists and organizations from Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA).

In 2017, a clear-sighted vision of its mission and role in the region, helped EHRA to build from scratch a solid management system, to gain significant support from global and regional communities and partners as well as to launch nine advocacy, coordination and community capacity projects.

This Annual Report reflects all key points in the progress of association in 2017, programming outlines in the CEECA region and the further Strategic Framework 2018-2019.

Thank you for your help in the development of EHRA, the belief in our work and the readiness to go with us together to the goals’ implementation.

Full version of the Annual Report can be found by link.

Joint Statement of Civil Society Organizations in advance of the Thirty-Ninth Meeting of the Global Fund Board

On May 9–10 2018, the Global Fund’s Board will consider revisions to the Fund’s Eligibility Policy based upon recommendations from its Strategy Committee. While some of these recommendations are positive, others raise serious concerns.

In this regard organizations representing civil society and including communities of people living with and affected by the three diseases and other key populations from different countries and regions – developed a Joint Statement to share with Global Fund Board members their position on several critical issues that should be considered by the Board during its deliberations on the Eligibility Policy.

The Statement signed by 41 international, regional and national level organizations was sent to the focal points of all Delegations to the GF Board as well as to GF Board Leadership and GF ED. 7 more organizations signed the statement after it was sent.

We hope that our position will be taken into account by the Global Fund Board members when making decisions on the eligibility issues during the Board meeting.

The final version of the document – Joint Statement of Civil Society Organizations in advance of the Thirty-Ninth Meeting of the Global Fund Board.

Regional Сommunity Networks Consortium submitted multi-country proposal for GF funding to insure sustainability of HIV services for key populations in EECA

The Regional Community Networks Consortium (RCNC) of five regional networks in EECA has successfully developed and submitted a proposal for the Global Fund.

Continue reading “Regional Сommunity Networks Consortium submitted multi-country proposal for GF funding to insure sustainability of HIV services for key populations in EECA”

EHRA is looking for for the expert to develop and facilitate Workshop in Azerbaijan

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) in the scope of the EECA Regional Platform project supported by the Global Fund is aimed to organize a workshop targeted on civil society and community representatives in Azerbaijan. The workshop is going to take place in Baku (Azerbaijan) on 7 – 8 of June 2018. 

Objectives of the workshop are to:

  1. To build knowledge on the processes with regard to the transition of national HIV/AIDS and TB responses from Global Fund support to national funding; 
  2. To understand the possible consequences for HIV\TB programs if the planned transition is not well-managed, including looking at examples of some other countries in the region;
  3. To understand the importance of the involvement of civil society and communities’ representatives in all stages of the transition processes and the existing opportunities and entry points for such involvement;
  4. To understand what HIV and TB services and program components are the most vulnerable within the transition process in Azerbaijan and to plan the possible actions in 2018 to insure their sustainability;
  5. To discuss and identify the possible content of the request for TA for civil society and communities in Azerbaijan within the GF CRG TA Program

The working languages of the workshop will be Russian and Azerbaijanian.

How to apply

The candidates are invited to submit their CV, Letter of interest and state the daily rate in USD (including the taxes) by e-mail referenced under title “Consultant to develop and facilitate S&T Workshop in Azerbaijan” to ivan@harmreductioneurasia.org by COB 03 of May 2018 24:00 EET.

Please see more information in the document below

Terms of Reference

Announcement of EHRA members online General Meeting

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) announces the convocation of the members online General meeting, in period from 21st May 2018 to 4th June 2018.

General meeting suggested agenda:

1. Approval of EHRA financial report for 2017 year (Statement from EHRA Treasurer will be sent until 16th May, 2018);

2. Approval of Regulations of the General and Regional meetings of the members of EHRA (Please find attached Regulations);

3. Approval of Regulations of the Steering Committee of EHRA (Please, find attached Regulations);

4. Approval to prolong terms for 2 more months for the 5 members of the Steering Committee and shorten term of 2 months for 1 member (Please find attached document with suggested terms);

5. Approval of the timeline of the Regional meetings to elect Steering Committee members (Please find attached document with suggested dates);

6. Approval of EHRA Advisory Board (List of candidates for EHRA Advisory Board will be sent until 16th May, 2018);

Timeline of the General meeting:

23 April, 2018 – announcement of the General meeting of EHRA members

23 April – 16 May, 2018 – documents for the General meeting are sent to members

21 May – 4 June, 2018 – online voting

For any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Secretary of the General meeting Eliza Kurcevic by the e-mail: members@harmreductioneurasia.org 

Announcement of EHRA members online Regional meetings to elect Steering Committee members

Eurasian Harm Reduction Association announces the convocation of the members regional meetings to elect Steering Committee members from the following regions: South-Eastern Europe and Russia.
A list of Steering Committee members subject to rotation, is as follows:

  • Tijana Žegura (South-Eastern Europe) resigned in January;
  • Maksim Malyshev (Russia).

Schedule of elections:

  • From 23 April to 14 May, 2018– nomination process (3 weeks). Candidates are submitting their applications to participate in the Steering Committee elections
  • From 21 Мay to 4 June, 2018 – online voting to elect Steering Committee members in the South-Eastern Europe and Russia regions
  • 5 June, 2018 – announcement of the results.

We are inviting all EHRA members from the above-mentioned regions to submit applications to become a member of the Steering Committee until 14th May, 2018.

The requirements for the candidates are:

  • be a member of EHRA;
  • demonstrate readiness and ability to work responsibly and actively as a Steering Committee member;
    follow the principles listed in the Association Steering Committee Regulations (please, find the document attached);
  • to reside within a region participating in the current elections;
  • to avoid a potential conflict of interests, candidates cannot be representatives of Association’s donor organizations.

ATTENTION! According EHRA Regulations, a country represented in a particular region may have only one representative in the Steering Committee who is elected in the Regional Meeting. Therefore, EHRA Members from BULGARIA CANNOT submit their candidacies, as one of the EHRA Steering Committee members is from Bulgaria.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate Secretary of the Regional meetings Eliza Kurcevic, by e-mail: members@harmreductioneurasia.org

Two Reports On Behalf Of People Who Use Drugs To Be Presented At The UN Committee On Economic, Social And Cultural Rights

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, together with communities of people who use drugs from Estonia and Kazakhstan are presenting two parallel reports to the 62nd Pre-Sessional Working Group of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), which is meeting in Geneva this week.  Today, representatives from EHRA and Estonian organisation of people who use psychoactive substances LUNEST will give their statements regarding the enjoyment of social rights among women who use drugs and/or living with HIV in Estonia. On 4 April, during the discussion of the report from the Government of Kazakhstan, the issue of access to opioid maintenance therapy (OMT) and the protection of human rights of drug-dependent individuals and people living with HIV in the country will be raised.

Both parallel reports were written based on the disturbing information on the situation with people who use drugs that demonstrates that human rights of these groups of society in Estonia and Kazakhstan are gravely violated.

In case of Estonia, its Government is requested to address the issues of health, parental, child protection, and labor rights violations incurred by women who use drugs. These violations were detected during a research study conducted by a team of non-governmental organisations in 2017. Despite the fact that Estonia, compared to other post-Soviet states, has made good progress providing access to HIV prevention and treatment, violations of human rights against people who use drugs, their discrimination and stigmatisation is still an everyday occurrence, especially on behalf of state institutions, such as the police, child protection, and public health services.

The Government of Kazakhstan will be urged to provide information regarding the future of  OMT programs, since the outcomes of the state’s assessment in 2017 may lead to the complete halt of these programs in the country. This is not the first time that CESCR is dealing with the issue of OMT in Kazakhstan: in 2010, the Committee called on the Government of Kazakhstan to ensure that methadone as substitute drug dependence therapy was made accessible to all drug dependents. However, by the end of 2017, OMT was available to only 2.69% of all injecting drug users on the outpatient register, contrary to World Health Organisation’s recommendations of at least 20% coverage.

According to Dasha Matyushina-Ocheret, Policy Reform Advisor at EHRA, parallel reports and testimonials at the 62nd Pre-Sessional Working Group of the CESCR should help raise the issues of human rights violations in Estonia and Kazakhstan on the international level so that lives of people who use drugs are improved. “It is especially important that members of the Working Group, as well as Government representatives from Estonia and Kazakhstan, will hear first-hand accounts from community representatives on how their rights are violated,” says Ms. Matyushina-Ocheret.

Established in 1985, CESCR is a UN human rights body consisting of 18 independent experts that monitor implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by its States parties, which are obliged to submit regular reports to the Committee on how the rights are being implemented in their countries. The Committee’s rules allow for international, regional, and national organisations and human rights institutions to submit parallel reports with questions for governments in advance of the dialogue with the states.