DPNSEE appeal to the governments in countries of the region

On the occasion of 26th June, the United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, as part of the Support Don’t Punish campaign’s ‘Global Day of Action’, the Drug Policy Network South East Europe and its member organisations appeal to the governments in countries of the region to ensure that people who use drugs are safe from discrimination and enjoy care which is needed.

It is time to leave behind harmful politics, ideology and prejudice and to prioritise health and human rights over incarceration and futile efforts to achieve a ‘drug-free world. It is time to support, and not punish people who use drugs and other non-violent drug offenders.

To read the Appeal, follow this link>>>.

 

Support. Don’t Punish activities in 2021

Support. Don’t Punish is a global grassroots-centred initiative in support of harm reduction and drug policies that prioritise public health and human rights. The campaign seeks to put harm reduction on the political agenda by strengthening the mobilisation capacity of affected communities and their allies, opening dialogue with policy makers, and raising awareness among the media and the public.

The Drug Policy Network South East Europe coordinates activities of the campaign in South East Europe around the Global Day of Action 26 June – which is also the United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

In 2021, we shall participate in activities of the #DrugDecrim month to contribute to fighting stigmatisation and criminalisation of people that use drugs.

The campaign 2021 shall have in South East Europe:

  • 8 countries
  • 14+ cities
  • 12 organisations
  • 50+ activities
  • 25 accounts on social networks

Activities have already started in some of the countries of the region.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic which is still hitting the region and the world, DPNSEE will not organise the traditional kick-off event in 2021.

The DPNSEE Board decided to issue a public appeal on harm reduction crisis, following a very critical situation in which are harm reduction services in several countries of South East Europe.

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

Information about the global campaign is available from the website http://supportdontpunish.org.

 

A successful campaign in new circumstances

Following a good result in coordination of the campaigns in 2017, 2018 and 2019, The International Drug Policy Consortium and The Drug Policy Network South East Europe agreed on continuing cooperation on organising the campaign in 2020.

The Support. Don’t Punish 2020 campaign was held in very difficult circumstances, but participating organisations managed to find a way to hold activities and continue contributing to achieving its goals.

The campaign in South East Europe had

For the first time, DPNSEE haven’t organised a Kick-off event to launch the campaign due to the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, and as a specific way of promoting the campaign and achieving its goals, DPNSEE organised a regional campaign using social media to spread messages around. We prepared a set of up to 20 messages with combination of quotes from Kofi Annan’s speeches and appropriate photographs, ready for use in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The DPNSEE staff collected and published articles alongside with photos of the involved organisations in the Network during the campaign on Internet page www.dpnsee.org and social media FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

The report from the campaign is available following this link>>>.

 

Support. Don’t Punish activities in 2020

Support. Don’t Punish is a global grassroots-centred initiative in support of harm reduction and drug policies that prioritise public health and human rights. The campaign seeks to put harm reduction on the political agenda by strengthening the mobilisation capacity of affected communities and their allies, opening dialogue with policy makers, and raising awareness among the media and the public.

The Drug Policy Network South East Europe coordinates activities of the campaign in South East Europe around the Global Day of Action 26 June – which is also the United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

The campaign 2020 shall have in South East Europe:

  • 9 countries
  • 16 cities
  • 14 organisations
  • 30+ activities
  • 33 accounts on social networks

Organisations around the region will organise raising awareness events, lectures and workshops, creating and promoting guidelines on human rights, banner and pictures campaigns, producing videos, photo exhibitions, disseminating promotional materials, meetings with the local authorities, press conferences, pub quizzes, showing movies, sharing sensitizing messages concerning COVID-19 on how to reduce stigma and other risky behaviours and much more.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic which is still hitting the region and the world, DPNSEE will not organise the traditional kick-off event in 2020.

Instead, this year DPNSEE organises a larger campaign, which will be part of our general efforts to ensure sustainability of services for people who use drugs in South East Europe – those that are under threat of being marginalised and side-lined as consequence of the coronavirus outbreak. The DPNSEE Board decided to hold a regional campaign using social media to spread messages around.

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

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

Support. Don’t Punish regional campaign

For the fourth year already, DPNSEE coordinates the Support. Don’t Punish global advocacy campaign calling for better drug policies that prioritise public health and human rights. The campaign aims to promote drug policy reform, and to change laws and policies which impede access to harm reduction interventions.

This year we organise a larger campaign, which will be part of our general efforts to ensure sustainability of services for people who use drugs in South East Europe – those that are under threat of being marginalised and side-lined as consequence of the coronavirus outbreak.

The DPNSEE Board decided to hold a regional campaign using social media to spread messages around. We prepared a set of up to 20 messages with combination of quotes from Kofi Annan‘s speeches and appropriate photographs, ready for use in Facebook, Tweeter and Instagram. They will be posted throughout June 2020, most frequently around 26 June, the Global Day of Action of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign and the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

We offered all our member organisations to share the messages through your networks. The messages will be translated in various languages and it will be simple to post and schedule their dissemination following dynamic we shall define. For the moment, 14 our organisations from 8 countries post and share the slides.

We warmly encourage all other organisations and individuals to share the messages and so contribute to the success of the campaign worldwide.

 

2020 Global Day of Action – Getting ready!

Last year, thousands of activists in 261 cities of 92 countries joined arms to promote policies and practices that centre solidarity, reduce harm and protect human rights. The 2020 Global Day of Action is all about accelerating momentum for reform. And, to do so, we need each other.

The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) have launched the 2020 Support. Don’t Punish Global Day of Action’s “Call for Expressions of Interest”. If you’re thinking about joining the 2020 Global Day of Action, fill the form available online or in Word format and apply.

As DPNSEE will coordinate activities of the campaign in South East Serbia, it would be great if you would also send us the information about your plans.

Should you need inspiration or guidance, check out the repository with hundreds of activities organised in previous years.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, 17 April 2020.

An important information:

At the moment of drafting, over 150,000 cases of COVID-19 have been detected across the globe. It is impossible to accurately estimate how the pandemic will evolve in the coming weeks and months, but we know it will disproportionately affect many of the populations at the heart of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign. We believe we have a responsibility to do our best to keep ourselves and others healthy. When completing the form, we invite you to consider alternative plans in case the pandemic impedes the realisation of your initially-planned activities.

More information is available from the Support. Don’t Punish webpage following this link>>>.

 

The departure day

This page will be updated during the day, as the events happen

Side events

Human rights tools: Incorporating international justice and targeted sanctions into drug policy

Organized by DRCNet Foundation and Forum Droghe Associazione Movimento per il Contenimento dei Danni

The event was about the situation in The Philippines where rights of drug users are violated. There were more than 30.000 acknowledged and 20.000 unofficial killings recently and extended attack on political opposition and media.

Also, situation in Bangladesh, where people are killed for both sex and drug crimes.

Good practices in cross-sectoral cooperation: Civil society involvement in policymaking in Europe

Organized by Finland and Spain, and Civil Society Forum on Drugs in Europe, Correlation – European Harm Reduction Network, European Union, Foreningen for Human Narkotikapolitikk, International Drug Policy Consortium, Rights Reporter Foundation and Youth Organisations for Drug Action

Civil Society Forum on Drugs members are selected by the European Commission. CSFD representative presented a variety of activities they had.

Elina Kotovirta, Finish representative talked about cooperation with CSFD in 2019, when they held the EU presidency – in preparations for the Ministerial segment last year. Both sides evaluated cooperation as a very good one.

The representative of Norway Carl-Erik Grimstad, member of the Parliament, started his presentation raising the shirt with message “Nothing about us without us”. The civil society representatives gave a significant contribution in defining a new drug policy. He underlined that the key change needed is de-stigmatisation. Decriminalisation that is about to be adopted is a step in that direction. He encourages community organisations to take the lead in this process.

Arild Knutsen, leader of the Norwegian Association for Humane Drug Policy, drug user almost all his life. He was recently seen as a garbage of the society, but now he finds himself a source of the society. He spoke about the process of changes and spoke so positive about cooperation they have with politicians, parliamentarians and ministries. “Our drug policy is just humane!”

Milutin asked two questions:

  • Is it OK that EU institution decides about who will be civil society representatives in the CSFD?
  • Do you work with candidate countries? Acquis have only a narrow view on the issue of drugs – almost exclusively drug supply.

The Finish representative explained process of electing CSFD members and promised to propose finding a model of involving the civil society itself in that process. She also mentioned some ways of cooperation with accession countries (cooperation with EMCDDA, twinning projects) and agreed that most of the relation is on supply demand.

 

Meetings

Civil society organisations had informal dialogues with CND Chair, Director of UNODC and INCB Chairman.

Informal meeting of the European Citizens’ Initiative to change regulation on cannabis was held at the CND. The text of the initiative is in the final stage. The main challenge is how to collect million signatures in EU.

IDPC invited organisations active in the “Support. Don’t Punish” campaign for a meeting to discuss developments and the upcoming 2020 Global Day of Action. The International day of action will be celebrated for the eight time. The call for expression of interest will be issued on 16 March and opened for a month. The process will be the same as recent year(s). There was a call for projects in October 2019 where 84 projects were submitted but IDPC had resources to support only 6 of them.

Advocacy for a cantonal institution for drug diseases

For this year Association Margina once again organised street action disseminating promotional materials, meeting people and spreading information about the campaign and work of the association.

By sharing an educational brochure (What to do when someone overdoes you, etc.) to several locations in the city by volunteers, Margina wanted to raise people’s awareness of a problem that doesn’t affect only individuals, but whole community. Passers-by had the opportunity to get acquainted with the organization’s work and campaign goals, and also to take pictures with campaign Logo in order to support those who need it the most. Organisers are very pleased with the community response to the messages that the campaign provides, as more and more people are aware that changes must be introduced to the entire system.

A special feature this year is the public debateDo We Need The Office of Addiction Diseases” with 40 representatives from institutions and civil society present, as well as active users of “suboxone” therapy and active users of harm reduction services provided by our organization.

The opposite views are expressed about how to fund a part of the health system, and insufficient systemic support for people using drugs. Also, for the first time data from the regional project “Budget advocacy and monitoring” were presented and representatives of the Ministry of Health and the Health Insurance Fund had mild panic outbursts, with the information provided and recommendations.

The conclusion of all the attendees is that this Department of Addiction Diseases, as urgently needed, will be one of our goals in the advocacy campaign that will follow in early September.

Public quiz on Drugs and Politics

Association Terra held a presentation of the poster ONLY VARIETY CAN RESPOND TO VARIETY which was promoted at the Harm Reduction Conference held Porto recently this year. Activities related to the poster were organised in their Drop in Centre during the Support. Don’t Punish campaign.

On 7 July, they organised a public quiz on Drugs and Politics (questions related to drug consumption, from different domains like geography, history, film, etc.) in the Rijeka Youth Club.

Romanian Support Don’t Punish YouTube channel launched

The Romanian Harm Reduction Network (RHRN) launched a YouTube channel with videos from users and professionals presenting the Support. Don’t Punish campaign messages “Sprijin. Nu pedepse“. A long-term video campaign started on the Global Day of Action 26 June under the S.DP umbrella.

A special campaign promotional video was prepared and posted at the channel

One of the first clips include a specific message which Professor Michel Kazatchkine, member of Global Commission on Drug Policy, sent to Romania.

A public event was held where activists from various organisations gathered to express their positions on discrimination and stigmatisation of drug users.

The stating videos at the channel will be followed by periodic episodes with practical harm reduction advices.

There are still several videos to be finished and released each couple of weeks, so stay tuned!

To see more photos from the public event, follow this link>>>. Follow the Romanian campaign Facebook page here>>>.