Regional training for the ARYSE Advocacy Network

Within the project “Strengthening young people at risk of social exclusion“, a regional training of the ARYSE (At-Risk Youth Social Empowerment) Network for advocacy for the promotion of children and young people at risk was held from 5 to 7 July in Bar, Montenegro.

The project is being implemented in six countries from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo*, Northern Macedonia and Serbia) and aims to contribute to the social inclusion of the larger part of the young people at risk at the regional level, by strengthening the capacities of civil society organizations, regional/national cooperation and advocacy activities.

This training was intended for representatives of the implementing organizations and representatives of the national working groups established within the project. The idea of ​​the training was that the members of the working group and representatives of the organizations form a regional advocacy body which will continue to function after the completion of the project.

During the training, the participants worked to develop a common platform on which they would base their future work on young people at risk. During the training, the participants worked to develop an advocacy plan for all target groups covered by the project: Street youth, Youth who use drugs, Youth in conflict with law, Youth without parental care, Young Roma and Youth from families with history of drug use and/or conflict with law.

The regional body would aim to continue to promote the results of the ARYSE project and to advocate for appropriate guidance created through this project. In addition, the regional body would continuously work on the exchange of information and good practices and the improvement of policies related to young people at risk and the availability of the services designed for them.

The project is implemented by the NGO Juventas (Montenegro), the Association “Prevent” (Serbia), the Association Margina (BiH), ARSIS (Albania), HOPS (Macedonia), Labyrinth (Kosovo) and the Foundation CHL (Germany).

The network of the mentioned organizations that implements activities are aimed at contributing to active participation in the social and social processes of young people from the Western Balkan countries who are at the highest risk of social exclusion.

Public event at the city beach of Novi Sad


On the Global Day of Action 26 June, Association Prevent held a public event at the main plateau of the city beach “Štrand” in Novi Sad. The event was supported by the City Health Administration, International drug Policy Consortium and OPENS 2019 – The Youth Capital of Europe.

People visiting had an opportunity to get their photos from a photo booth, get information about the campaign, discuss and get advice from the Prevent activists. Children enjoyed the original game “Ne radi se čoveče”. Members of the New Point of Culture drew graffiti with the campaign messages and also messages which visitors gave.

Prevent also prepared a Facebook frames for profile photos and published infographics with campaign messages and other educational materials.

Watch videos made during the event in Novi Sad …

Podrži. Ne kažnjavaj. – After

Udruženje “Prevent” 26. juna, na glavnom platou Štranda, sprovelo je javnu akciju pod sloganom “Podrži. Ne kažnjavaj”. Ovu aktivnost podržali su Gradska uprava za zdravstvo Grada Novog Sada, International Drug Policy Consortium i OPENS 2019 – Omladinska prestonica Evrope Novi Sad​. Cilj projekta je doprineti unapređenju stepena bezbednosti i smanjenju stepena diskriminacije mladih u riziku od socijalnog isključivanja, kroz promovisanje različitosti i edukaciju u Novom Sadu tokom 2018. i 2019. godine."Support. Don't Punish." je međunarodna kampanja koja ima za cilj da raširi svest o negativnim posledicama rata protiv droga i promoviše politiku poštovanja ljudskih prava i zaštite javnog zdravlja, da menja zakone i politike koje onemogućavaju pristup intevencijama smanjenja štete (eng. harm reduction) i drugim servisima zasnovanim na naučnim dokazima, kao i da zaustavi kriminalizaciju korisnika drog. Posetioci javne akcije su se fotografisali u selfi kabini, i poneli poklon gotografije za uspomenu, informisali o kampanji i razgovarali sa članovima Udruženja „Prevent”. Najmlađi su igrali igricu „Ne radi se, čoveče“. Tokom trajanja akcije članovi NPC-New Point of Culture nacrtali su grafite sa porukama kampanje, ali i poruke posetilaca. U okviru kampanje nastali su i ramovi za profilne fotografije na Fejsbuku, a tokom prethodnih 10 dana su objavljeni infografici sa informativnim i edukativnim podacima.Omladinska prestonica Evrope je titula koju je dobio Grad Novi Sad za 2019. godinu. Titulu nosi grad, ali ona pripada svim njegovim stanovnicima od 15te do 30te godine. A, OPENS – Omladniska Prestonica Evrope Novi Sad je Savez udruženja koji je tu da, zajedno sa svojim partnerima sprovodi program na osnovu kojih je Novi Sad nosilac laskave titule. OPENS2019 je u 2018. godini, konkursom izabrao 42 organizacije, koje sprovode 46 programskih aktivnosti iz aplikacije na osnovu koje je Novi Sad i postao Omladinska prestonica Evrope 2019. godine. Tim aktivnostima će samo u 2018. godini biti obuhvaćeno 75.000 mladih, dok će za tri godine biti uključeno preko pola miliona mladih iz cele Evrope.Projekat se finansira iz budžeta Ministarstva kulture i informaisanja, Pokrajinskog sekretarijata za sport i omladinu AP Vojvodine i Grada Novog Sada.#supportdontpunish #podrzinekaznjavaj #OPENS2019 #mojopeNS #EYC2019 #prevent

Gepostet von Prevent am Dienstag, 2. Juli 2019

… and

Podrži. Ne kažnjavaj.

Video nastao tokom akcije ”Podrži. Ne kažnjavaj.” Selfi kabina se usijala na vrelom letnjem danu slikajući radoznale posetioce.Udruženje “Prevent” 26. juna, na glavnom platou Štranda, sprovelo je javnu akciju pod sloganom “Podrži. Ne kažnjavaj”. Ovu aktivnost podržali su Gradska uprava za zdravstvo Grada Novog Sada, International Drug Policy Consortium i OPENS 2019 – Omladinska prestonica Evrope Novi Sad​. Cilj projekta je doprineti unapređenju stepena bezbednosti i smanjenju stepena diskriminacije mladih u riziku od socijalnog isključivanja, kroz promovisanje različitosti i edukaciju u Novom Sadu tokom 2018. i 2019. godine.“Support. Don't Punish.” je međunarodna kampanja koja ima za cilj da raširi svest o negativnim posledicama rata protiv droga i promoviše politiku poštovanja ljudskih prava i zaštite javnog zdravlja, da menja zakone i politike koje onemogućavaju pristup intevencijama smanjenja štete (eng. harm reduction) i drugim servisima zasnovanim na naučnim dokazima, kao i da zaustavi kriminalizaciju korisnika droga.Posetioci javne akcije su se fotografisali u selfi kabini, i poneli poklon gotografije za uspomenu, informisali o kampanji i razgovarali sa članovima Udruženja „Prevent”. Najmlađi su igrali igricu „Ne radi se, čoveče“. Tokom trajanja akcije članovi NPC-New Point of Culture nacrtali su grafite sa porukama kampanje, ali i poruke posetilaca. U okviru kampanje nastali su i ramovi za profilne fotografije na Fejsbuku, a tokom prethodnih 10 dana su objavljeni infografici sa informativnim i edukativnim podacima.Omladinska prestonica Evrope je titula koju je dobio Grad Novi Sad za 2019. godinu. Titulu nosi grad, ali ona pripada svim njegovim stanovnicima od 15te do 30te godine. A, OPENS – Omladniska Prestonica Evrope Novi Sad je Savez udruženja koji je tu da, zajedno sa svojim partnerima sprovodi program na osnovu kojih je Novi Sad nosilac laskave titule. OPENS2019 je u 2018. godini, konkursom izabrao 42 organizacije, koje sprovode 46 programskih aktivnosti iz aplikacije na osnovu koje je Novi Sad i postao Omladinska prestonica Evrope 2019. godine. Tim aktivnostima će samo u 2018. godini biti obuhvaćeno 75.000 mladih, dok će za tri godine biti uključeno preko pola miliona mladih iz cele Evrope.Projekat se finansira iz budžeta Ministarstva kulture i informaisanja, Pokrajinskog sekretarijata za sport i omladinu AP Vojvodine i Grada Novog Sada.#supportdontpunish #podrzinekaznjavaj #OPENS2019 #mojopeNS #EYC2019 #prevent

Gepostet von Prevent am Sonntag, 30. Juni 2019

The Support. Don’t Punish campaign launched in South East Europe

For the launch of the Global Day of Action, DPNSEE organised a “Kick-off event” to start the campaign in South East Europe. The event was held in the EU Info Centre in Belgrade, Kralja Milana 7, on 19 June 2019.

Besides journalists, representatives of colleague civil society organisations, UN agencies, Office for combating drugs and political parties were present.

Representatives of the Network presented the key findings from baseline research on “Documenting Drug Related Cases of Discrimination”. This small scale research aims on raising awareness on existing discrimination in different areas of everyday life, map the situation and make a base for the further advocacy actions in decreasing stigma and discrimination towards people who use drugs.

DPNSEE also presented the proposal for decriminalisation of drug use and possession made to the Working group on changes to the Criminal Law in Serbia. The proposal was submitted to the Working Group for amendments to the Criminal Law but unfortunately was not supported.

DPNSEE member organisation Prevent presented results of the regional project “Budget Advocacy Monitoring in South East Europe” in Serbia. That included analysis of the national budgets for 4 last years with a specific focus on health and harm reduction, execution of the budget and excises, and the Declaration for sustainable national response to HIV.

Re Generation presented the results of their research “How the closing of the needle exchange programs affected the access to harm reduction services in two cities – Belgrade and Budapest“.

Finally, DPNSEE representatives presented the activities in the region in scope of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign.

To find out what is planned in your city or country, follow this link>>>

To see more about the campaign worldwide, follow this link>>>

Porto welcomes the 26th Harm Reduction International Conference

The 26th Harm Reduction International Conference (HR19) will be held in Porto, Portugal from 28 April to 1 May 2019. The Conference is organised by the Harm Reduction International and Agência Piaget para o Desenvolvimento (APDES) – a Portuguese non-profit association promoting sustainable development.

 

 

 

 

 

Held once every two years in a different country around the world, the Harm Reduction International Conference is the only global meeting for knowledge-sharing, networking, and discussion of best practices in the field of harm reduction. The last conference in Montreal in 2017 was attended by more than 1000 delegates from over 70 countries, including medical and policy experts, harm reduction practitioners, campaigners, and people who use drugs.

On Tuesday 30 April, at the Concurrent 16: Lost in Transition: Harm Reduction in Central and Eastern Europe, our Yuliya Georgieva from the Center for Humane Policy will speak about, Lost in Transition-Bulgaria struggling to ensure harm reduction activities after Global Fund withdraw while Nebojša Đurasović will present The only one harm reduction program that survived in Serbia – Experience of the Association Prevent.

Those who shall participate in the Conference are very much welcome to join this session.

The programme of the Conference is available following this link>>>

EHRA representatives visit

As the DPNSEE project Budget Advocacy and Monitoring in countries of South East Europe funded by Open Society Foundations (OSF) through Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) is about to come to an end in April this year, EHRA Financial Director Tatiana Fomicheva and Sustainability and Transition Adviser Ivan Varentsov visited DPNSEE on 17 and 18 April 2019. The purposes of the visit were to make an oversight of the project related documents and provide support with regard to the development of the final financial report.

EHRA representatives had an opportunity to meet with representatives of the national coordinator organisations MarginaJuventas and Prevent and get to know better their achievements and challenges while implementing the project. It was also interesting to discuss lessons learnt, possible next steps and follow up actions. All three indicated that the main issue they faced was lack of information or very slow response to provide them by the authorities. Understanding this obstacle, an agreement was made that DPNSEE and partner organisations will propose to extend the project by September 2019.

Our guests presented us the EHRA activities in the scope of the Global Fund HIV multi-country project, content of the workshop on human rights issues for the Balkan region planned for autumn this year and the Global Fund Community, Rights and Gender Technical Assistance Program. For this occasion, we also invited our colleagues from Serbian partner and member organisations DugaGAJPTimok Youth Centre and Čovekoljublje.

For our guests, we also arranged meetings with Dr Jasmina Tanasić, Head of the Department for Social Affairs at the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities and Primarius Dr Danijela Simić, Head of Department for HIV infection, STI, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis, Centre for Prevention and Control of Diseases, at the Institute of Public Health of Serbia “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut”.

The visit will help to better document the approach, process and results of our project as well as the lessons learnt. Documenting this our joint experience as a regional best practice and example of small grants to NGOs in recently transitioned of transitioning countries to support their sustainability and transition related advocacy activities can be of benefit to the Sustainability Bridge Funding that is about to be created by a group of international donors led by the OSF.

Nova stranka first to sign “Declaration on Sustainable National Response to HIV”

Nova stranka  is the first political party in Serbia which signed the Declaration for sustainable national response to HIV, proposed by the Group for Analysis of Public Policies (GAJP) as part of their project Political support to the harm reduction programmes. Aim of this project is to invite all political parties in Serbia to sign the Declaration that will oblige them to support harm reduction programmes and their financing from budgetary sources in their future work and participation in legislative and executive bodies.

The President of the Council of the Nova stranka, Aris Movsesian said that it is normal for the Nova stranka, as well as all other political parties, to sign this declaration.  Nova stranka is committed to joining the European Union, and the last year’s European Commission report calls for regulating the treatment of HIV patients, specifically in Chapter 28 where such measures are proposed. Nova stranka also emphasises in point 8 of their Action Plan the problem of relations with vulnerable groups of citizens.

Movsesian invited other political parties to follow our example and make such a civilization step.”

The declaration is developed in scope of the Budget Advocacy and Monitoring in South East Europe project. The project is managed by DPNSEE, and coordinated in Serbia by the Association Prevent.

To read the news from the signing of the declaration in Serbian follow this link>>>.

Serbia completed project application to the Global Fund

The National Committee for fighting HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, which performs the role of the Country Coordinating Mechanism in Serbia, adopted today the documents which will be submitted to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The project is expected to run from July 2019 to June 2022.

Back in 2016, the Global Fund allocated €1,098,351 for HIV and building resilient and sustainable systems for health. The allocation have been determined primarily based on disease burden and income level. Serbia is classified as an upper-middle-income country. Serbia committed to encourage additional domestic investment of 25%. The first amount agreed during the application in already included in the national budget for 2019.

The project seeks to scale-up HIV testing services for all key affected populations (KPs), preventive programs for men who have sex with men and sex workers and needles and syringes program (NSP) and other preventive programs for people who inject drugs. In addition, the project seeks to maintain and extend support provided by organizations of people living with HIV to people on antiretroviral treatment. The project will fund services provided by civil society organisations and will contribute to community system strengthening. In order to reach the maximum impact the majority of prevention and support interventions will be implemented at least in the two regions (Belgrade and Vojvodina) in which majority of KPs are concentrated based on surveillance data..

The civil society organisations, including DPNSEE and our three member organisations from Serbia Prevent, Duga and Timok Youth Centre, actively participated in creating the new national HIV strategy, in the work of the National Committee and the Working group for negotiations with the Global Fund.

Meeting of the Working group for negotiations with the representatives of the Global Fund

Consultations in the Office for Combating Drugs

The Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of the Republic of Serbia held a meeting with civil society organisations on 25 February 2019. Besides 11 organisations which signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Office in 2018 (including DPNSEE and 3 of its member organisations), 4 new organisations which established formal cooperation with the Office also joined the meeting.

Most of the meeting was dedicated to the proposals for amendments to the Criminal Law related to drug-related offenses. DPNSEE sent a formal proposal to the Ministry of Justice, the Working group for changes of the Criminal Law it created, The Office for Combating Drugs and the Office for support to the civil society organisations proposing decriminalisation of drug use and possession for personal use and protection of civil society organisations providing services to drug users. The proposal is available in Serbian following this link>>>.

The proposal was appraised as a very good, clear, concise and evidence based, but concerns were expressed that it may not be supported due to current situation in the country and increased conservatism in relation to the drug use. The participants emphasized the need to establish a system of accreditation of civil society organisations services. It should include all elements of their work, from prevention, harm reduction, treatment to social services and rehabilitation.

The Office will, through their representative, present civil society proposals to the Working group for changes of the Criminal Law.

The participation of civil society organisations representatives in the Working group to prepare the new Action plan for implementing the National Drug Strategy was appraised as a very good example of partnership. The Office will propose full involvement of the civil society in designing the new Strategy.

The participants at the meeting also got acquainted with the current activities of the Office on Drugs Policy, exchanged experiences on the previous cooperation defined in the Memorandum and made suggestions for improving it.

Reducing the problems of the dependency

The annual Press Conference “Activities on the field of reducing the problems of the dependency” was held on 20 December 2018 in the EU info Centre in Belgrade. Speakers at the Conference were Nebojša Đurasović, President of the Association Prevent, Milan Pekić, Director of the Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and Milutin Milošević, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Network South East Europe. Representatives of the institutions and organisations with whom Prevent and DPNSEE cooperate participated in the Conference.

Nebojša Đurasović presented activities which Association Prevent conducted in scope of the project “At Risk Youth Social Empowerment” and other projects realised in 2018. For a good work, Prevent deserved the award “Responsible attitude and work with vulnerable young people” offered by the city of Novi Sad. Đurasović also spoke about extending the programme of needle exchange to Belgrade and draw attention to the issues of drugs in Serbia including raising number of overdose deaths in young population.

Milan Pekić presented the co-operation between the Office for Combating Drugs and civil society organisations in Serbia as an example of good practice, especially in the process of designing the new Action Plan for implementation of the Strategy for drug prevention.

Milutin Milošević presented a situation in the region of South East Europe, activities in 2018 and plans of the Drug Policy Network South East Europe for the future. His comments on new psychoactive substances and change of culture of drug use raised a special attention.

Representatives of institutions and organisations that co-operate with Prevent and Drug Policy Network SEE were attended the Conference and took discussion on several topics, especially about discrimination.

The open discussion that followed was mainly focused on the issue of discrimination of drug users.

Two news publications were presented at the Conference: Prevent published the one on “Empowering against the discrimination of youth at risk“, while DPNSEE prepared the Serbian version of their Glossary of terms used in drug policy with the support of the Office for combating drugs.

Videos from the Conference are available in following this link >>>

Project partners meeting

The meeting of the partners in the EU Funded project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South Eastern Europe” was held in Belgrade, Serbia, on Monday, 10 December 2018. This was the last meeting of the project which lasted for 4 years, supported by the European Commission DG Near.

The partners approved the minutes from the recent meeting, held on 12 September by Skype, and partners informed about the recent activities.

Margina has finished with the activities of the programme. Prevent has yet to implement a press conference, most probably in Belgrade by the end of the year. Diogenis has finished with the activities of the programme, except from the last newsletter. Olga Pateraki informed the partners of the reallocation regarding the budget of Diogenis, in order to translate in Greek and print the booklet “Drug Policy reform, The UNGASS 2016 a catalyst for change”.

DPNSEE Executive Director Milutin Milosevic informed the partners about the activities that has been implemented during this period: the country visits in Romania and in Greece, the General Assembly that took place in Belgrade, the capacity building that was held during September, the Resource Centre and the Glossary. The Glossary has been printed and there is in English, Spanish and Serbo-Croatian, with the intention to be translated also in other languages. The discrimination paper has been started but not reached yet the desired recorded cases.

The partners have agreed to send all their final financial reports by the 10th of January to Diogenis in order to prepare the final financial report, who is collecting and preparing the reports. The financial report will be also in a format of detailed breakdown that the EC asks along with the final report. The reports of the activities will be also sent to Diogenis in order to compile them for the final report in January.