Pride Week in Belgrade started

Belgrade Pride Week 2019 has begun on Monday 9th and will end with the Belgrade Pride, which will be held on Sunday 15th September.

The opening ceremony was held at the City of Belgrade’s National Assembly. Jovanka Todorović, representing the Organizational board of Belgrade Pride, opened this year’s Pride Week and gave an overview of all the important events that will take place. Goran Miletić and Marko Mihailović, fellow members of the Organizational board, spoke about the political messages of the “I do not renounce” campaign, as well as Belgrade’s candidature to host EuroPride in 2022.

Pride Week: Grand Opening

During this week Belgrade Pride will organize workshops, open talks with the community, exhibitions, movies projections, performances as well as the first Belgrade Pride Theater Festival. This year the face of the Pride is singer Sara Jovanović.

Also, the Pride Info Center with our associate member association Duga (Rainbow), will provide free HIV testing, every day during Pride Week from 3pm to 6pm, in Kralja Milana 20 in Belgrade.

The Pride walk will begin on Sunday at 5 pm on Slavija Square.

The plan and program of events during the Pride Week 2019 and plan of  Pride Walk is available following link>>>

 

The International Overdose Day marked around SEE

On the occasion of the International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD), DPNSEE issued a press release underlining the importance of awareness and fighting stigma on overdose and presenting data about the issue worldwide and especially in Serbia. The release was published by the national Press agency Tanjug and several other media and portals.

The press release is downloadable following this link>>>

In Montenegro, NGO Juventas also issued a press release (supported by the NGO 4 Life) and held a press conference where Marija Mijović, coordinator of Programme of direct assistance to the people in risk of social exclusion presented situation in the country. A movie “Overdose”, directed by Mladen Vujović, outreach worker at the Drop-in Centre of NGO Juventas, Montenegro in cooperation with the Hungarian Drug reporters, was screened at the Green Montenegro International Film Festval.

Our colleagues from the Romanian Harm Reduction Network created a special video for this year’s IOAD campaign. Have a look at “Voices of the drug users. Episode 1”

Association AREAL and AREALTRIBE group from Slovenia organized a workshop dedicated to the International overdose awareness day on 1 September 2019 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Participants were educated how to respond if an individual finds himself or herself in that position.

Our colleagues from the Healthy Options Skopje (HOPS) promoted widely their webpages related to overdose and drugs

Thousands of people die each year from drug overdose and the fact is, overdose is an increasing global problem. Spreading the message that the tragedy of overdose and injury is preventable, International Overdose Awareness Day raise awareness of overdose and reduces the stigma associated with the drug-related death. Also, the day of awareness is providing support to families and loved ones of overdose victims, so that no one is forgotten.

Time to remember – time to act.

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

Chem-Sex and the City

On the occasion of the Global Day of Action of the “Support.” Don’t Punish” campaign and within the Pride Month, NGO Re Generation with the support of the Belgrade Pride Info Centre, in cooperation with the regional ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association, organized the premiere of the movie: “Chem-Sex and the city“. This short documentary was produced with the support of the Right Reporter Foundation and firstly presented at the Harm Reduction International 2019 conference in Portugal this April.

The movie is part of the activities Re Generation has related to public advocacy for awareness raising about problems related to psychoactive substances. The event marked the launch of an open dialogue about chemsex which will include mapping the needs to design appropriate services.

After the movie, Stefan Pejić from NGO Re Generation spoke on “ChemSex and what stands behind this phenomenon”, Zoran Milosavljević, independent researcher on “ChemSex in Serbia – Strategic (in) visibility of practice and its implications” and Amarillo Fecanji from ERA on “Regional perspectives and initial steps in mapping respond to the appearance of ChemSex”.

Serbia celebrated the International day against drugs

The Office for combating drugs of the Government of the Republic of Serbia organised a conference in occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Belgrade on 26 June 2019. Representatives of international organisations, governmental institutions, civil society and media joined to hear about latest experiences and successful stories in fighting drug abuse and support to the people who use drugs.

After the welcome and introductory speech from the Director of the Office Milan Pekić, presentation followed:

  • A comparative analysis of the statistic data about drug seizures in 2018 – Radomir Popović, Office for combating drugs
  • Modern approach to treatment and curing drug addiction – Dr Diana Raketić, Special hospital for addictions
  • Psycho-social interventions and re-integration process of people with drug disorder in Serbia – Milka Kalaba, The Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy
  • Misuse of drugs in adolescence – Dr Svetislav Mitrović, Institute for mental health
  • New psychoactive substances and new trends in drug use – Dr Jelena Janković, Ministry of Health
  • Treatment of addiction of people in prisons – Dr Maja Paunović, Special prison hospital
  • Role of media in drug prevention and fighting stigma of ex-drug addicts – Mladen Mijatović, Member of the Committee for fighting narcomania in schools

The civil society had an important role too with Aleksandar Žugić from the Association Izlazak presenting Evaluation of multi-sectorial meetings they held in local communities, while Irena Molnar from NGO Re Generacija spoke about the “Support. Don’t Punish” campaign. She also presented the results of the research on “Discrimination of people who use drugs” prepared by DPNSEE.

The conclusion of the conference is that cooperation between different stakeholders is very much needed, as well as education of people from different professions (health workers, police, teachers and others, including civil society activists) on drug addiction and human rights.

Coming Out of Unemployment

Youth workers from five countries: Serbia, North Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia Herzegovina took part in nine days long training hosted by the Association Rainbow in Serbia (Šabac) from 8 to 16 May 2019, for obtaining adequate knowledge about social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship in general. The concept of training was developed out of the study visit in Spain and personal years-long experience of the Association Rainbow as the project leader in this field.

Participants also learned how to transfer their knowledge as trainers from experienced trainers and now they are able to disseminate the acquired knowledge and skills further in their countries. This will lead to the domino effect where youth workers continue to transfer their knowledge and skills to others through their own trainings after this project is completed, whereas in doing so we increase the duration for which the aims of this project will be achieved.

The Erasmus + project “Coming Out of Unemployment” is related to raising capacity of youth workers with the aim of acquiring knowledge and skills and also raising their professional competence in working on the economic empowerment of the LGBT population through the development of social entrepreneurship. Populations which are not economically empowered cannot adequately nor in the long run advocate for the practicing of their human rights.

The project participants encompass six organizations from Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina and Spain, which want to share experiences and improve the economic position of LGBT persons and in this way secure the fight for their human rights and sustainability of LGBT NGOs in the long run. Members of these organizations will, through active work, acquire knowledge and skills for practical work and further transferring of knowledge in the field of developing social entrepreneurship, raising capacity and empowering young LGBT persons to become entrepreneurs.

One of the results of the project will be “The Manual on the Development of Social Entrepreneurship” which will provide guidelines for future trainers and help them realize their trainings, thus reaching medium-term and long-term aims of this project.

The concluding activity of the project will be a working conference taking place in Serbia. It will gather 100 participants from partner organizations, public institutions, embassies, the donor community, and the media with the aim of presenting the results of the project and influencing the state policy concerning the economic empowerment of the LGBT population.

More about the project is available following this link>>>

Hotspots of organized crime in the Western Balkans

A new report by Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime has identified locations in these countries that are hotspots for organised crime.

Rather than focusing on illicit markets, flows of commodities or particular criminal groups, this report looks at places of interest: hotspots of organized crime in the Western Balkans. It looks at the characteristics of these hotspots, then provides a granular analysis of particular border crossings, intersections or regions of vulnerability. What makes these places particularly vulnerable? Why are they attractive to criminals? After discussing these questions, the report connects the dots between these locations to identify possible links and patterns that tell us more about the geography of crime in the region.

Regional illicit flows

To contextualize these organized-crime hotspots, the report provides an overview of the current situation in the Western Balkans, as well as some general information on the main illicit flows. It then looks at hotspots close to border or (internal) boundary crossings.

The other main section of the report focuses on major intersections of organized crime in the Western Balkans – mostly bigger cities (particularly capitals), coastal towns and places where major highways intersect. Maps are provided to show the hotspots as well as key traffic arteries. Amid these assessments, the report takes a deeper dive into vulnerable locations, such as Sarajevo, three ports along the Montenegrin coast, northern Kosovo as well as the triangular region where North Macedonia meets south Serbia and Kosovo.

One key observation of this report, which is important to highlight upfront, is that illicit flows through ports, cities and border crossings in the Western Balkans are enabled by a political economy of crime that is deeply entrenched in most countries of the region. The report therefore takes a look at the ecosystem of crime that creates an environment in which illicit activity can flourish. It concludes with a prognosis of potential future hotspots of crime.

The report is available in EnglishAlbanianBosnian and Macedonian

Concert for decriminalisation

“The initiative to change the cannabis legislation” – Association IRKA, together with the Social cannabis club Beograd and cannabis vlog Domaćica, organised the Concert for Cannabis Decriminalisation on 4 May 2019, if front of the National Parliament in Belgrade, Serbia. The concert was dedicated to celebration of the International day for cannabis-related protests and events, known around the World as the “Weed Day”.

IRKA is the first official association advocating cannabis legalization in Serbia, founded in August 2013. Members are patients, their family members and all the citizens who want to help them achieve the ability to legally obtain and use cannabis and the extract of cannabis flowers in order to treat their conditions.

A selection of musicians, mainly reggae and rock musicians, performed from late afternoon to the midnight for hundreds of fans and much more people passing by.

Recent developments can hardly be assessed as positive

Coalition prEUgovor published a new edition of their Alarm Report on Progress of Serbia in Chapters 23 and 24. This report contains the prEUgovor coalition’s assessment of the political criteria for the EU accession process and the fulfilment of criteria for selected policy areas from Chapters 23 and 24 for the period October 2018 – March 2019. The presentation was held on 16 April at the Media Centre in Belgrade.

The report states that the government continued the practice of abuse of public resources during the election periods, while the executive and the ruling majority continuously deprived the Parliament of its legitimate functions. Another worrying fact is the increasing number of laws that are being passed by urgent procedure and in most cases without any public debate. These practices have led to an alarming consequence – namely, the opposition has left the Parliament.

Besides the above, the authorities keep undermining the work of independent control institutions by systematically ignoring their recommendations. Once again, we have an atmosphere in which non-governmental organisations are declared enemies and traitors; they are left out of all the dialogues and are not welcome in the solving of social problems. At the same time, the government is creating its own NGOs (GONGOs).

The fight against corruption is at a very low level, threatening to become a mere simulation that is activated only periodically so that the authorities can easily score some cheap political points. Furthermore, there is a real danger that the very same mechanism (Law on Investigation of Property Origin) could be used against the opposition. Also, there are enormous problems with the potential consequences of the proposed constitutional amendments related to the judiciary, as well as a series of laws that are about to enter parliamentary procedure.

Generally speaking, the commitments made in the existing Action Plans for Chapters 23 and 24 are fulfilled inconsistently, while the deadlines are postponed on a regular basis. Well-known problems with the non-implementation of the existing acts and laws are still present. Having in mind the fact that two crucial EU issues to be addressed are the Rule of Law and the fight against corruption, lack of concrete results in these two areas is still a major alarming obstacle in Serbia’s process of integration.

The majority of the key findings expressed in this report coincide with the lowered ratings that were given to Serbia by various international actors (Freedom House, for instance), thus confirming the alarming developments in the areas covered by Chapters 23 and 24.

To download full report follow this link>>>

Coalition prEUgovor is a network of civil society organisations formed in order to monitor the implementation of policies relating to the accession negotiations between Serbia and the EU, with an emphasis on Chapters 23 and 24 of the Acquis. In doing so, the coalition aims to use the EU integration process to help accomplish substantial progress in the further democratisation of the Serbian society.

Members of the prEUgovor are: ASTRA – Anti Trafficking Action, Autonomous Women’s Center (AWC), Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP), Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS), Center for Applied European Studies (CPES), Group 484 and Transparency Serbia (TS).

Youth Studies South East Europe

The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) published reports on the experiences and aspirations of youth in Southeast Europe. The FES carried out a representative region-wide survey on a sample of more than 10.000 young people aged 14 – 29 from ten countries in Southeast Europe in early 2018.

“FES Youth Studies Southeast Europe 2018/2019” is an international youth research project carried out simultaneously in ten countries in Southeast Europe: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. The main objective of the surveys has been to identify, describe and analyse attitudes of young people and patterns of behaviour in contemporary society.

A broad range of issues were addressed, including young peoples’ experiences and aspirations in different realms of life, such as education, employment, political participation, family relationships, leisure and use of information and communications technology, but also their values, attitudes and beliefs.

Findings are presented in ten national and one regional study and its accompanying policy papers, which have been published in both English and the respective national languages.

The most important results are grouped under headlines:

  • A wish to belong to Europe
  • Migration and mobility do not have to be zero-sum
  • Fighting corruption as a crime, not as a concept
  • Employment discourse shifting towards the quality of work
  • A different kind of ‘political’…
  • …which has to do with ‘the social’
  • Give youth a say in Europeanisation

To download the regional study and its accompanying policy papers following this link>>>

You can read the national studies at this webpage.