Albania joined Support. Don’t Punish

For the first time this year, Aksion Plus joined the “Support. Don’t Punish” campaign. In this framework, they organized an awareness campaign for two weeks, arranging different meetings, focus groups with the drug users related to human rights protection, what tools they can use to advocate for their rights and increase the access toward social, health and legal public services. One of the activities was the “Photo campaign” where we invited different stakeholders to make a photo with the poster of the campaign “Support, Don’t Punish”, such as decision making representatives and service providers of Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Justice, Probation Service Institution, Public Health institutions, Ombudsman, social workers, psychologists, volunteers;  very known artists in TV and famous Albanian singers; service beneficiaries, such as MMT, sex workers, LGBT and Roma community members.

The main activity was the awareness day in occasion of 26th of June, in Durrës. Since most of the population is in summer holidays, Aksion Plus organized a big event on the beach, among vacationers.  For this event they closely collaborated with Caritas Albania, informing at the beginning their 50 young volunteers and on 26th the two organisations went together and distributed information among people. At the beginning of the activity, a big banderol with the logo “Support. Don’t Punish” was placed in an open place with key message on drug policy, in order for the passers-by to see and to understand what this activity was about.

Global Day of Actions 26 June in Durrës

Various local TV stations were invited (Top Channel Durrës, A1 Report). The director of Aksion Plus, Mr. Genci Mucollari, gave an interview on the aim of this day and activity. He called for all responsible institutions and decision makers’ involvement in injecting drug users’ human rights and access toward service provision. He gave some messages to general population, to say “no” to the discrimination toward these target-groups.

The day continued with the distribution of the brochures, leaflets and posters of the campaign. All the volunteers and staff was wearing T-shirt and hats with the message “Support. Don’t Punish”. It was an exciting day for young volunteers and they managed to distribute more than 2000 IEC materials.  More than 1500 existing and new brochures/leaflets were provided to other A+ centres.

This activity and other A+ news and information were widely covered through social networks. It had a good impact on the Facebook public, especially pictures with artists and politicians.

IDPC and DPNSEE was step by step posted and informed with written statements and pictures from these activities.

Albanian artists and politicians supporting the campaign