Ganna Dovbakh, EHRA Executive Director
The International Harm Reduction Conference (HR19) is like a family gathering for us – it’s a regular occasion that we are looks forward to. We are getting ready for it, gathering news to share and dressing up because everyone will be there. New members who only just joined (we need to get to know each other, find common topics of conversation), as well as those we’ve known for a long time, those who only need a supportive hug like “Hang in there, brother, we’ll get through this! Proud of you, sister!”. This event can only nominally be used for advocacy because the politicians, scientists and officials who attend are mostly “our people”. They are instrumental in developing the strongest arguments for the importance of investing in harm reduction and reforming drug policy. Majority are there to share practical approaches, how they developed it, piloted and what recommend for other countries. The three days of the conference encompass everything from birth and love to death.
The impact of the Global Fund’s Eligibility Policy on the sustainability of the results of the last Global Fund HIV grant for Russia
Ivan Varentsov, Sustainability and Transition Advisor
What was the point of abandoning everything that was achieved within the GF-funded 3-year project in 2018, when it’s highly likely that everything will have to be started from scratch in 2020? Isn’t it just a waste of money, time, efforts and lives of people affected by HIV?
Eliza Kurcevic, Membership and Program Officer, EHRA
This year, during the International Harm Reduction Conference there was plenty discussions, workshops and exchanges of experiences about drug checking services. The more experienced organizations were speaking about the positive results of this harm reduction service, as well about the need to make it more accessible for people who use drugs, while organizations, which just started drug checking, were sharing the barriers and challenges they face while providing this service.
Olga Belyaeva, Advocacy Manager, EHRA
Each community has its own history of the manifestation of the inner strength of people, when these words penetrate the skin and become the meaning of life. It has happened to me in Narcofeminism, along with every woman nearby.
Ganna Dovbakh, Executive Director of EHRA
It’s rare when you have a proper reason to tell how everything works inside the organization. You always praise the celebrant on their birthday and that is why today when it’s 2 years from the date of EHRA’s registration, I want to say a few words about how we work.
Olga Belyaeva, Advocacy Manager, EHRA
After our meeting was compared to the Moon and the creative and self-sufficient musician Shnur I feel entitled to publish my notes for people who organise meetings for people who use drugs.
Péter Sárosi, Drugreporter
Harm reduction is of the people, for the people, and by the people. Assessing scientific data about trends of infections or access to services is necessary when measuring the social impact of harm reduction as a set of interventions. But statistical data in itself is far from sufficient to have a real insight into how harm reduction works as a movement, how is it embedded into the local political and cultural context, and how it affects the lives of individuals and communities.
Dasha Matyushina, Drug Policy and Human Rights Advisor, EHRA
“On my way to Pavlodar I did not expect to see an exemplary OST site – I am aware of the challenges such programs face in Kazakhstan and how hard it was to open and keep sustaining OST sites there. I also know what a „pilot OST site“ really means: minimum clients, maximum rules.”
„After the New Year, for the smallest amount of marijuana – criminal liability and immense fines, „In one of Vilnius bars, police made a raid: Some of the bar visitors were scared, some were laughing“, „A young man was sentenced for the distribution of drugs, committed a suicide in the Lukiškės Interrogation Insulator“ , „Penalties in Lithuania: for one shared joint – imprisonment from 2 up to 8 years“ – those are just a few titles of the headlines in the news portals, during this year (2017).