European Harm Reduction sessions

Together with Correlation European Harm Reduction Network we recently organized Harm Reduction Sessions, which were initiated to replace the 5th European Harm Reduction Conference. 

Session 1 – What can we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Session 2 – Launch of the Special Edition of the Harm Reduction Journal

EHRA, as the co-organizer of the event, presented its decriminalization session, which was available in English and Russian. 

Session 3: Different approaches for decriminalization – what works?

Many countries started slowly to adopt alternatives to punishment, abolishing criminal sanctions for use and possession of psychoactive substances and replacing them with administrative measures, such as fine, compulsory or voluntary treatment, and other social interventions. However, not in all cases, these alternatives brought positive outcomes for people who use psychoactive substances and society at large.
Thus, we need to review new approaches or update old ones, to ensure that measures adopted by the state are proportionate and in line with human rights.
In this session, we discussed 5 different approaches to decriminalization, which are applied in 5 countries and their impact on the lives of people who use psychoactive substances and society, namely the cases where:
1) there are no consequences for the possession of drugs;
2) police confiscate drugs but take no further actions;
3) person is mandatory referred to health services for evaluation and receives no criminal arrest or conviction;
4) administrative liability is applied (i.e. fine);
5) person receives a criminal conviction but does not serve time in prison (may be required to complete community service and pay fine).
Moderator: Jamie Bridge, International Drug Policy Consortium
Speakers and their presentations:
🔸 Pavel Bem, Global Commission on Drug Policy
🔸 Machteld Busz, Mainline, the Netherlands
🔸 Alexandra Gurinova, Deutsche Aidshilfe, Germany
🔸 Mart Kalvet, Estonian Association of people using psychotropic substances LUNEST, Estonia
🔸 Erkinbek Iriskulbekov, Lawyer, Kyrgyzstan
🔸 Eliza Kurcevič, Eurasian Harm Reduction Association, Lithuania
🔸 Zhannat Kosmukhamedova, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime