Thinking outside the box: overcoming challenges in community advocacy for sustainable and high-quality HIV services

Three Eurasian networks – EHRA, ECOM and EWNA united by the Eurasian Regional Consortium, met in Vilnius to discuss innovative approaches that will be used in the next three years in advocacy towards increased domestic investments in HIV services for key populations in EECA. Continue reading “Thinking outside the box: overcoming challenges in community advocacy for sustainable and high-quality HIV services”

ENPUD Speech during the CND2019

15 March, 2019, Vienna, CND.

Eurasian Network of People Who Use Drugs (ENPUD) direct speech at the Interactive roundtable: “Safeguarding the future: enhancing our efforts to respond to the world drug problem through strengthening international cooperation, including means of implementation, capacity – building and technical assistance, on the basis of common and shared responsibility”:

Hello!

I represent the Eurasian network of people who use drugs. Members of this network are people united by the idea of ​​fighting for their rights, and promoting people-oriented drug policy. The network brings together people from 13 countries in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

I would like to start speaking with the words of Albert Camus: “Can a policy that puts so many free people at a dead end be called realistic?”

We want to say that we all work together on the drug problem and are at different points of solving the problem.

And as for the EECA region, we want to say that, to date, in the EECA region, unfortunately, the most repressive models of drug policy are used.

The basis of which is criminalization, and repressions against people who use drugs:

– decriminalization of use in some countries cannot outweigh repressive measures

– these are arrests for storage of microscopic quantities of drugs,

– long term imprisonment,

– complete lack of or very poor access to opioid substitution therapy,

– curtailing harm reduction programs

– lack of access to other evidence-based approaches to solving the problem of drug use and addiction and other drug problem.

All this contributes to the demonization of substances and people.

There is a vector for complete non-use. Which is an impossible task and a tragedy for a huge amount of people.

The consequence of the requirement of complete failure is the existence of a zero tolerance policy in the region. It reinforces stigma at the state level

and leads to discrimination, conflicting with international agreements signed by countries. This is a huge problem.

Violations of the rights of people who use drugs are so frequent that it becomes the norm. Often even lawyers do not see problems in

that people who use drugs are humiliated, denied in the right to health, education, protection from violence, and torture in prisons, to obtain the necessary evidence from investigators in cases involving drug trafficking.

Repressive drug policies also have a negative impact on the distribution of government budgets.

Criminalization and the detention of hundreds of thousands of people is very expensive for states.

In fact, the money is spent on the hunt for people who use drugs. And not on the support of evidence-based methods for solving problems.

Use is decriminalized in some countries, but microscopic doses are already a criminal liability, which eliminates such important work of decriminalization.

Willingness of the leadership of the countries of the region to support civil society in a decision-making process based on a humane approach, and and discussing issues related to the drug problem with the community of people who use drugs is the key to mutual respect for rights and respect. I think everyone will agree that it would be a mistake to ignore the whole experience and opinion of a huge number of people inside the problem.

State drug policy in our countries, from the NPO side, is often regarded as a call for use, and turns into drug propaganda charges, fines, harassment and closure of non-governmental organizations. Many have experienced it for themselves. But we are not enemies!

We understand that we are part of the world process related to the solution of the drug issue. Today is the next stage. And now – the Eurasian network of people who use drugs considers that one of the main tasks of civil society is the effective organization of the process of supporting the development and strengthening of the community drug users, for discussion at all levels. And wide community interaction with government agencies. This is necessary for meaningful community participation in drug policy reform processes. And solving the problem of drugs in the region, in accordance with the most humane and scientifically based approaches that exist in the world.

We are pleased that we have an opportunity to contact governments at international platform. But we would like to see more platforms for

political and civil dialogue on drugs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Thanks!

ЕСЛУН на CND2019

15 марта, 2019, Евразийская сеть людей, употребляющих наркотики (ЕСЛУН). Интерактивный круглый стол: «Защита будущего: наращивание наших усилий по реагированию на мировую проблему наркотиков посредством укрепления международного сотрудничества, включая средства реализации, наращивание потенциала и техническую помощь, на основе общей и совместной ответственности».

Posted by Eurasian Harm Reduction Association – EHRA on 2019 m. kovo 15 d., penktadienis

Promises to improve health outcomes for people who inject drugs remain unfulfilled as 99% do not have adequate access to HIV and harm reduction services

New report by UNAIDS highlights the urgent need to implement a human rights and evidence- informed approach to reach people who inject drugs with essential health services

Continue reading “Promises to improve health outcomes for people who inject drugs remain unfulfilled as 99% do not have adequate access to HIV and harm reduction services”

People who use drugs vs Governments 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.

Continue reading “People who use drugs vs Governments of Estonia and Kazakhstan at the 65 session of the CESCR”

ToR for consultant to develop the Framework, Methodology and Instrument(s)

EHRA is looking for the consultant to develop the Framework, Methodology and Instrument(s) to assess the impact of the transition from Global Fund’s support to national funding on the programmatic sustainability of OST services.

Consultancy task
In order to assess the impact of transition on the sustainability of the programmatic aspects of OST services in the selected countries the OST Programmatic Sustainability Assessment Framework (OPSAF) should be developed which will identify the specific thematic areas of sustainability to be analyzed as well as indicators specific for each area identified to be measured. Specific methodology for such assessment as well as the relevant instrument\tool allowing to do such measurements should be developed as well.
Specifically, the programmatic sustainability of OST services could be analyzed by understanding the impact of transition related processes on such aspects of the quality of OST service provision (but not exclusively limiting by them only) as:

• Coverage of estimated opioid user population
• Waiting time to first treatment admission
• Methadone/buprenorphine dosage
• Availability of OST (including new initiations) in prisons
• Coverage of OST medicine by state /health insurance
• Toleration of illicit drug consumption (after dose induction phase)
• Diagnosis or detailed assessment of current substance use, individualized treatment
planning
• Availability of take-home OST
• Counselling required

Other programmatic aspects to be assessed could be composition of the OST services being provided, standards being applied, monitoring system in place, involvement of NGOs and community representatives in services provision etc. Additionally, the proposed Framework should allow to consider the influence of the local political and financial aspect of the OST service provision on its programmatic sustainability within the transition.

How to apply
The candidates are invited to submit their CV and Letter of Interest by e-mail referenced under title “Consultant to develop OPSAF” to ivan@harmreductioneurasia.org by 24:00 EET, 04 of March 2019. Letter of Interest and CV should clearly reflect the competencies of the candidate required to complete this task.

Please read the Terms of Reference for more information

ToR OST Sustainability Assesment Framework

Developing the capacity of CCM members representing civil society in Central Asia: a two-day workshop took place in Almaty, Kazakstan

On February 13-14, 2019 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), within the framework of the Regional Communication and Coordination Platform project in the EECA region, with the support of the Global Fund, held a two-day workshop on “Developing the capacity of CCM members representatives civil society in Central Asia” for CCM representatives from the non-governmental sector from 4 countries of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Continue reading “Developing the capacity of CCM members representing civil society in Central Asia: a two-day workshop took place in Almaty, Kazakstan”

EHRA and the Alliance for Public Health call to join the Valentine’s Day Global Action in support of the Global Fund’s efforts to ensure the necessary level of investment within the Sixth Replenishment

On the 11th January 2019, the Global Fund announced its fundraising target for the next three-year cycle for 2020 – 2022. The Executive Summary of the Sixth Replenishment Investment Case describes how a minimum of US$14 billion will help save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023. The Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference will take place in Lyon (France) on 10 October 2019.

Continue reading “EHRA and the Alliance for Public Health call to join the Valentine’s Day Global Action in support of the Global Fund’s efforts to ensure the necessary level of investment within the Sixth Replenishment”