Report on Russia submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee

On May 4, 2020 the Russian Civil Society Mechanism for Monitoring of Drug Policy Reforms, with technical assistance of the Andrey Rylkov Foundation for Health and Social Justice, Eurasian Harm Reduction Association and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network submitted a report on Russia for the adoption of List of Issues to the State in relation to the review of the 8th Periodic Report of the Russian Federation during the 129 Session of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

In Russia’s highly punitive and stigmatizing environment, law enforcement agencies have a virtual carte blanche to discriminate against people who use drugs. The information provided in the report shows how such heavy-handed drug policies and drug enforcement drive violations of Articles 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 14, 15, 19, and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The proposed questions for the List of Issues:

  1. How does the State Party ensures the principle of legal certainty when prosecuting people for handling so- called derivatives?
  2. How does the State Party ensure the right to a fair trial with respect to drug-related charges?
  3. What measures do Russian authorities undertake to reduce risk of COVID-19 infections in prisons?
  4. What drug treatment options are available for people in custodial settings in Russia, especially taking into account the number of prisoners incarcerated for drug crimes?
  5. How does the State Party protect people with drug dependence from arbitrary arrest and detention on discriminatory grounds?
  6. What measures has the State Party undertaken to protect people with drug dependence from ill treatment in police custody, especially taking into account the continuous enforcement by the state party of a legal ban on evidence based treatment such as opioid substitution therapy?
  7. What measures does the State Party employ to address the special vulnerability of women living with drug dependence to gender-based discrimination in the enjoyment of civil and political rights?
  8. How does the State Party ensure equal protection and non-discrimination with respect to people who use drugs?
  9. How does the State Party ensure the right to freedom of expression and the right to access scientific and human rights information in the context of anti-drug propaganda restrictions?

Report to the UN Human Rights Committee for the List of Issues in relation to the review of the 8th Periodic Report of the Russian Federation CCPR/C/RUS/8

Analysis of the proportionality of the imposed fines for drug possession in the Kyrgyz Republic

The document is an analysis of the proportionality of fines for possession of narcotic drugs in the Kyrgyz Republic. On January 1, 2019, new codes and laws entered into power, which, inter alia, refer to drug-related crimes and increase fines.

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Legal analysis of human rights violations against women who use drugs in Russia (on the example of St. Petersburg)

Despite a significant number of women who use drugs, in St. Petersburg there have been no qualitative studies aimed at examining violations of the rights of women who use drugs. It should also be noted that currently in Russia there are no state-funded harm reduction programs and opioid agonist therapy.

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Report on the study “Criminalization of drugs and human rights of people who use drugs in the Republic of Moldova”

This report is based on the results of a study conducted by EHRA in 2019 to document and analyze the most common human rights violations encountered by women and men who took part in the study and who had experience serving sentences in imprisonment, including for drug-related crimes. A total of 12 semi-structured interviews were collected.

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UN Committee calls Ukraine to decriminalize the possession of drugs

In January 2020 EHRA together with Canadian HIV/AIDS legal network and Charitable Fund Ukrainian Network of People who Use Drugs VOLNA submitted the report to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the disproportional sentencing of people who use drugs and their access to health and social services in Ukraine.

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A review of legislative initiatives on the liability of drug-related advocacy (propaganda) in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan during the second half of 2019 and early 2020 and possible risks for social programmes aimed at working with people who use drugs

A number of countries in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) region have recently seen a tendency to adopt legislative initiatives aimed at strengthening measures to combat drug-related advocacy (“propaganda”), particularly on the Internet, and toughening the liability for such propaganda.

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“Gathering Data on Human Rights Violations and Reaction Mechanisms”: Regional Workshop for activists and professionals from South East Europe countries

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) will conduct a 2-day regional workshop for activists and professionals from South East Europe countries “Gathering data on human rights violations and reaction mechanisms” on March 18-19*, 2020, in Belgrade, Serbia.

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People who use drugs of Estonia and Kazakhstan at the 65 session of the CESCR

Geneva, 65 session of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

February 18 – March 8, 2019

In February, 2019 during the 65 session of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR*) in Geneva EHRA in partnership with Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, joined by community representatives from Estonia and Kazakhstan and legal experts from the Human Rights Clinic from Miami University School of Law presented the statements on the enjoyment of rights among women who use drugs in Estonia and access to opioid substitution treatment for people who use drugs in Kazakhstan, and addressed the questions of the Committee.

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Lithuania rings a bell – “Reform of the Psychoactive Substances: Support, don’t Punish” Conference has started in Vilnius

The aim of the Conference is to show the overall drug policy situation in the international context and how it affects people, who use drugs; to provide to the audience the historical context that led Czech Republic and Norway to the decision of decriminalizing drug use and possession for use; to teach and share with Lithuanian legislators best practices of the drug policy reforms, by giving more international expertise.

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