Strengthening Civil Society Advocacy for Critical Enablers of the HIV Response for People Who Use Drugs — International Harm Reduction Consortium

Project goal: To strengthen the advocacy potential of people who use drugs in challenging repressive laws and policies that act as barriers to effective harm reduction and HIV programming in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region.

The project is implemented by the Consortium of seven leading international and regional harm reduction, drug policy and drug user networks – the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), Harm Reduction International (HRI), Youth RISE, the Middle East and North Africa Harm Reduction Association (MENAHRA), the Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA), the European Network of People who Use Drugs (EuroNPUD), and the Eurasian Network of People who Use Drugs (ENPUD).

In the framework of the project, EHRA together with ENPUD will be strengthening ENPUD’s organizational capacity; joint activities and study visits in countries with humane drug policies will allow community leaders in countries and regions to form an advocacy agenda for the reform of repressive laws and practices; national advocacy efforts aimed at monitoring the implementation of human rights will be supported by small grants, and documented cases of violations of human rights will be used by the EHRA and the ENPUD to influence regional policies and practices.

In the framework of the project, ENPUD enhances:
– organizational capacity through training and involvement of the advocacy coordinator, communication specialist and mobilization specialist in the secretariat team;
– strengthens the community’s capacity to advocate for decriminalization and the initiation of alternative punitive approaches by community leaders training in Portugal (2017) and the Czech Republic (2018).
– for the purpose of forming a position from the community and sounding for the countries’ governments of the region, ENPUD and EuroNPUD pre-CND planning and capacity building in conjunction with IDPC and INPUD.

Project tasks:

-to build the capacity and collaboration between international, regional and national levels to effectively advocate for harm reduction, human rights and drug policy reform;

-to create conditions and provide technical assistance in building the capacity of regional networks of the community of people who use drugs;

– analyze national regulations in the field of drug policy affecting safety of life and access to harm reduction services for people who use drugs, with the community help. Conduction of the advocacy campaigns.

– to monitor harm reduction investments from donors and governments, and advocate for increased costs for alternatives to punishment and greater expenditure on HIV-related services for people who use drugs. Small grants are given for local advocacy programmes and initiations, which are implemented by the community.

Countries covered by project: Eastern and Northern Europe, the Baltic Countries and Central Asia

Project timeline: October 2017 – December 2018

Budget of EHRA: 105 613 USD (in 2017 – 32 126 USD; in 2018 – 73 486 USD)

Budget of ENPUD: 21 044 USD (in 2017 – 6 401 USD; in 2018 – 14 643 USD)

Project donor: Robert Carr Network Fund

From street to government: International advocacy for progressive drug policy