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”:
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.
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