Time to Act! The 4th European Harm Reduction Conference

November 21, 2018

11.45 – 12.30

Panel discussion: Harm Reduction future: sustainability and impact

Moderator: Ganna Dovbakh and Wolfgang Phillipp

Naomi Burke-Shyne, HRI

Katya Lukicheva, OSI

Palani Narayanan, Global Fund

Susanna Ronconi, Forum Droghe, Italy

Marian Ursan, Carusel, Romania

12.30 – 12.45

“Chase the Virus, not People!”

Ganna Dovbakh, EHRA

November 22, 2018

11.00 – 12.30

Parallel session 12*: Transition and sustainable funding of harm reduction (OSF), part 1

Room: 2 – MIRCEA ELIADE
Chair: Ekaterina Lukicheva

This session aims to increase the understanding of progress and key success factors that lead to sustainability of HR programs in countries transitioning from Global Fund’s support of HIV response to national funding including the role civil society and community representatives plays in these processes.

Participants will:

  • Learn about the harm reduction financing changes and donor transition related processes taking place in SEE countries
  • Better understand key facilitators and factors that lead to their programmatic and financial sustainability
  • Learn from the experience of civil society and community representatives advocating for sustainability of HIV prevention services among key affected populations in their countries.

14.00 – 15.30

Parallel session 17*: How to leverage EU membership and accession for increasing sustainability and quality of harm reduction services at country level (OSI part 2).

Room 2 – MIRCEA ELIADE
Chair: Raminta Stuikyte

This sesison will discuss the challenges, lessons learnt and possible opportunities for NGOs in those EU member counties which lack of the political will to ensure the sustainability of harm reduction services at the expense of the state budget
Participants will:

  • Learn more about the political, technical, funding opportunities and instruments available for NGO in EU member and accession countries which could help to improve the sustainability of HR services they provide
  • Get an opportunity to discuss their situations, share their concerns and learn from each other’s experiences of advocating for the increase of the governmental funding for HR services

November 23, 2018

09.00 – 10.30

Parallel Session 26: Drug policy trends: alternative to coercive sanctions

Room: 1 – Aula
Chair: Ganna Dovbakh

This session aims to provide space for discussion on current drug policy trends in Europe, the impact of international drug policies on European national policies and practice and the ways of transferring European best practices to other regions.

Participants will:

  • Increase their understanding of the perspective of young people on the international and national drug policies;
  • Learn about the current state of advocacy for decriminalization, legalization and alternatives to coercive sanctions (ACS) in Europe;
  • Learn about pilot diversion from arrest programs in EU and barriers to their integration;
  • Share perspectives of EU best practices in drug policy that could be promoted outside of the EU.

Shrinking space for harm reduction and human rights in EU based on Hungarian situation

Peter Sarosi, Drugreporter, Hungary

Promotion of Alternatives to Coercive Sanctions (ACS) Programs in EECA

Dasha Matyushina, Eurasian Harm Reduction Association, Russia

Guidelines for law enforcement to improve public health outcomes for YPUD

Morgana Daniele, Youth Rise, UK

09.00 – 10.30

Parallel session 29 : Gendered consequences of repressive drug policies

Room: 4 – Simion Mehedinti
Chair: Eliza Kurcevič

The session aims to provide space for women who use drugs and specialists working with this group to share and discuss gender specific consequences of repressive drug policies and the availability and quality of existing services inclusion of the community in the global women’s movement.

Participants will:

  • Learn about recent studies of human rights violations of women who use drugs and the process of submitting complaints to UN bodies
  • Increase their knowledge of intersectional feminism and the inclusion of the community of women who use drugs in the global feminist movement
  • Learn about gender differences in substance use and the prevalence of HIV and HCV, and gender-sensitive services including services for women who use drugs who suffered from violence
  • Discuss how to protect and minimize risks among activists and human rights defenders

Gender differences among people who inject drugs (PWID) in Estonia

Maris Salekesin, National Institute for Health Development, Estonia

Human Rights of Women Who Use Drugs: Institutional Violence and Human Rights Abuse by OST Clinics’ Staff

Maria Plotko, Eurasian Harm Reduction Association, Lithuania

Harm Reduction Challenge: public nuisance vs public health

Aura Ruig, Metzineres, Spain

Protection of Harm Reduction and Community Activists from Pressure, Arbitrary Arrest and other Forms of Abuse by Authorities

Dasha Matyushina, Eurasian Harm Reduction Association, Russia

Harm reduction from perspective of feminism and history of the feminist movement

Fenya Fischler, Association for Women’s Rights in Development, UK

 

* – The list of the sessions, in which the representatives of EHRA’s team took part in their preparation

 

Budget Advocacy. A guide for community activists

This guide is intended to inform community activists from key affected populations (KAPs), civil society organizations (CSOs), and community-based organizations (CBOs) on how to engage in meaningful, transparent, and accountable budget advocacy towards domestic government at national or subnational level. The regional focus of this guide is Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA), although it can also be used by individuals from other regions.

Continue reading “Budget Advocacy. A guide for community activists”

Results of the EHRA’s General Meeting and Regional Meetings to elect new Steering Committee members

During the September 17 to 30, 2018 Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) conducted online General (among community of people who use drugs) and Regional Meetings (in Central Europe, Central Asia, Moldova-Ukraine-Belarus, Caucasus) of its members. Quorum for the Regional meeting to elect new Steering Committee members needed no less than one third of the members from the particular region. In the General meeting, the decision is made by a simple majority of votes of the members of the Association participating in the elections of the representative of community of people who use drugs.

GENERAL MEETING to elect 2 Steering Committee members from the community of people who use drugs

According to the Statute of EHRA, the decision is made by a simple majority of votes of the members of the Association participating in the elections of the representative of community of people who use drugs. During these elections, 63 individual and organizational members’ votes are considered eligible for voting in the online General meeting. 8 votes were not counted as valid, because they didn’t have a right to vote in the EHRA online General meeting (not official individual or organizational members of EHRA, not official representatives of the organizations or submit their vote after the deadline).

The results of voting:

Vitalii Rabinciuc – 44 votes (69,84% of all valid votes)

Alexander Levin – 54 votes (85,71% of all valid votes)

Vitalii Rabinciuc and Alexander Levin are elected for 3 years term as EHRA Steering Committee members to represent community of people who use drugs.

REGIONAL MEETINGS to elect Steering Committee members in the Central Europe, Moldova-Ukraine-Belarus, Caucasus and Central Asia regions

CENTRAL EUROPE. In total the region has 15 official EHRA members, who were eligible to vote. From those 15 members – 7 participated in the meeting and cast the vote for their candidate, which means, that quorum was met, because 46,67% of members from the region participated in the elections of the SC member. 2 votes were counted as not eligible.

The results of voting:

Dominika Jasekova – 6 votes (85,71% of all valid votes)

Jan Stola – 1 vote (14,29% of all valid votes)

Dominika Jasekova is elected for 3 years term as EHRA Steering Committee member to represent Central Europe region.

CENTRAL ASIA. In total the region has 49 official EHRA members, who were eligible to vote. From those 59 members – 27 participated in the meeting and cast the vote for their candidate, which means, that quorum was met, because 55,10% of members from the region participated in the elections of the SC member. 7 votes were counted as not eligible.

The results of voting:

Aibar Sultangaziev – 18 votes (66,66% of all valid votes)

Maram Azizmamadov – 7 votes (25,93% of all valid votes)

Mirzosharif Odinaev – 2 votes (7,41% of all valid votes)

 

Aibar Sultangaziev is elected for 3 years term as EHRA Steering Committee member to represent Central Asia region.

MOLDOVA-UKRAINE-BELARUS. In total the region has 67 official EHRA members, who were eligible to vote. From those 67 members – 34 participated in the meeting and cast the vote for their candidate, which means, that quorum was met, because 50,75% of members from the region participated in the elections of the SC member. 1 vote was counted as not eligible.

The results of voting:

Casting the vote for Ala Iatco in the elections of the Steering Committee member to represent region Ukraine-Moldova-Belarus:

YES – 27 votes (79,41% of all valid votes)

NO – 7 votes (20,59% of all valid votes)

 

Ala Iatco is elected for 3 years term as EHRA Steering Committee member to represent Moldova-Ukraine-Belarus.

CAUCASUS. In total the region has 27 official EHRA members, who were eligible to vote. From those 27 members – 15 participated in the meeting and cast the vote for their candidate, which means, that quorum was met, because 55,56% of members from the region participated in the elections of the SC member. 2 votes were counted as not eligible.

The results of voting:

Mari Chokheli – 8 votes (53,33% of all valid votes)

Irma Kirtadze – 7 votes (46,67% of all valid votes)

 

Mari Chokheli is elected for 3 years term as EHRA Steering Committee member to represent Caucasus region.

EXTENDED: WEB developer is needed for a long-term contract

EHRA is looking for a specialist to provide long-term maintenance and support for both harmreductioneurasia.org  and eecaplatform.org websites. Application deadline is extended till October 8, 2018. Please see the detailed Terms of Reference to familiarize yourself with the tasks, requirements and conditions. Applications can be submitted by contacting Irena Zubkova at irena@harmreductioneurasia.org

Application Form

WEB developer is needed for a long-term contract

EHRA is looking for a specialist to provide long-term maintenance and support for both harmreductioneurasia.org  and eecaplatform.org websites. Application deadline is October 1, 2018. Please see the detailed Terms of Reference to familiarize yourself with the tasks, requirements and conditions. Applications can be submitted by contacting Irena Zubkova at irena@harmreductioneurasia.org

Application Form

General and Regional meetings of EHRA members to elect Steering Committee members

On 17-30 of September, 2018 EHRA conducts online Regional Meetings of its members to elect new Steering Committee representatives in the following regions:

  • Central Europe (Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia);
  • Ukraine-Moldova-Belarus;
  • Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia);
  • Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan).

At the same time, General meeting of EHRA members to elect Steering Committee representatives from the community of people who use drugs will be conducted.

All members (individual and organizational), who are from the above-mentioned regions (in case of Regional meeting) and also who are identifying themselves as members of the community of people who use drugs (in case of General meeting) have a right to vote in the General and Regional meetings.

If you have any questions, please contact General Secretary of the General and Regional meetings – Irena Zubkova at members@harmreductioneurasia.org

Central Europe

Dominika Jašeková

Slovakia

Know your candidate
Motivation letter

Jan Stola

Poland

Know your candidate
Motivation letter

Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus

Ala Iatco

Moldova

Know your candidate
Motivation letter

Caucasus

Marina Chokheli

Georgia

Know your candidate
Motivation Letter


Irma Kirtadze

Georgia

Know your candidate
Motivation letter

Central Asia


Maram Azizmamadov

Tajikistan

Know your candidate
Motivation letter


Aibar Sultangaziev

Kyrgyzstan

Know your candidate
Motivation letter

Mirzosharif Odinaev

Tajikistan

Know your candidate
Motivation letter

PWUD
Community

Alexander Levin

Russia

Know your candidate
Motivation letter

Vitalii Rabinciuc

Moldova

Know your candidate
Motivation Letter

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

Dear EHRA members,

Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) (Eurazijos žalos mažinimo asociacija), registered at Gedimino pr. 45-4, Vilnius 01109, Lithuania (actual address Verkių g. 34B-701, Vilnius) announces the convocation of the members regional meetings from the particular regions: Central Europe, Ukraine-Moldova-Belarus, Caucasus, Central Asia and community of people who use drugs.

Please, find a list of all current Steering Committee members.

A list of Steering Committee members subject to rotation in the Regional meetings:

  1. Iveta Chovancova (Central Europe)
  2. Leonid Vlasenko (Ukraine-Moldova-Belarus)
  3. Nino Tsereteli (Caucasus)
  4. Maram Azizmamadov (Central Asia)

A list of Steering Committee members subject to rotation in the General meeting:

  1. Alla Asaeva (community of PWUD)
  2. Viktoria Lintsova (community of PWUD)

Schedule of elections:

  • From 27 August, 2018 to 16 September, 2018 – nomination process (3 weeks). Candidates are submitting their applications to become a member of the Steering Committee
  • From 17 to 30 September, 2018 – online voting to elect Steering Committee members in four above-mentioned regions and from the community of PWUD
  • 1st October, 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 16 September 2018.

The requirements for the candidates are: 

  1. be a member of EHRA;
  2. demonstrate readiness and ability to work responsibly and actively as a Steering Committee member;
  3. follow the principles listed in the Association Steering Committee Regulations;
  4. to reside within a region participating in the current elections;
  5. to avoid a potential conflict of interests, candidates cannot be representatives of Association’s donor organizations.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE CANDIDATES! According to the Regulations of the Steering Committee of EHRA, a country represented in a particular region may have only one representative in the Steering Committee who is elected through regional elections (Regional Meetings). This means, that members from Czech Republic, Ukraine and Kazakhstan can’t apply for the SC elections.

Representatives of the community of people who use drugs represent the Association’s whole geographical area and should be from different countries. So we are inviting all EHRA members, who represent community of PWUD to apply to SC elections, to represent community of PWUD.

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

Kyrgyzstan: “Fine for freedom”

Authors: Olga Belyaeva, Advocacy Manager, EHRA/Sergei Bessonov, “Harm Reduction Network” Association, Kyrgyzstan

“Don’t push us into the corner or we will shoot”. Who pushes people into the corner introducing new Criminal Codes under the guise of “humane reforms” and reducing the prison population in Kyrgyzstan while three grams of hashish are subject to a fine of 4000 dollars?! If you don’t pay the fine they’ll put you in prison for up to 5 years. And most importantly, how can we change the vector of drug policy toward regulation of psychoactive substances, safe drug use with adequate restrictions that keep people in the legal field and give possibilities of comfortable drug use?

This is the topic of our meeting during the Dialogue Platform “Challenges for the communities and definition of responsive measures”, organized by the Kyrgyzstan Harm Reduction Association with assistance from the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association and AFEW Kyrgyzstan.

Platform discussion topics: geopolitical relations between countries, stigma influenced by religion, the history of cannabis and opium in Kyrgyzstan. How and why did people change the methods of substance use, real risks and consequences of such actions and how can we respond to them in our harm reduction programs. In fact, we see that programs and approaches of harm reduction services are not in the same street with the actual needs of people. We also discussed the pilot project that would start in one of the districts in Bishkek in 2019, based on the LEAD model and led by AFEW. The basic indicators of the desired results of the pilot are community monitoring, including  street lawyers / public defenders, personal contacts, statistics monitoring of drug related cases in police, probation and courts.

The country is currently reviewing the Government Regulation № 543 on drug quantities: small, large and extremely large. Small quantity qualifies for a misconduct, while large and extremely large quantities are considered a criminal offense. Small quantities will remain in the Regulation, for example, a small quantity for heroin is up to 1 gram.  The big step forward is that the expertise on the drug purity was included to the Regulation. Basically, it’s a good topic to consider.  If a person is detained with 1.5 grams of a drug, the person perpetrates the Criminal Code, which means 4 000 dollars fine or a prison. Then, the expertise might show that the pure substance is less than one gram, this means the person breaks the law of the Misdemeanor Code and can be subject to a fine of 800 dollars and a restriction of freedom for 6 months (the person would also be banned from visiting certain places or will be subjected to treatment according to their consent and at their expense). The problem in this case is that the actual situation on the drug stage is not taken into account, where the minimum purchase of heroin begins at five or ten grams.

“Fine for freedom” (c). People who feel and understand their freedom may create such slogans.  And we know that our message will be convincing only if we accept ourselves as people for whom the use of psychoactive substances is a standard of living.  We should expose to the thinking people the causal relationship between bribes, provocations, blackmail by policy and suicide, homelessness, pain and all negative consequences of repressive drug policies, which could have been prevented.

1 000 dollars are spent for incarceration of one person per year while opiate substitution therapy and needle exchange programs cost only 280 dollars and give you freedom. Drug policy and appropriate use of public budget are two halves of the same objective: decriminalization as a step towards the regulation of substances and redirection of resources from repression to helping people with drug dependency. Tomorrow the participants of the Dialogue Platform will clarify the strategic goals and tactical plans to blaze a trail to freedom and implementation of the constitutional rights in their country.