New website to report hate crime

Our colleagues from the ERA – LGBTI Equal Rights Association for the Western Balkans & Turkey launched “You Are Heard“, an LGBTIQ hate crime reporting website, in partnership with Stonewall. This new service provides a safe space for LGBTQ+ people and allies to report incidents.

You Are Heard has been developed with expert civil society organisations, members of ERA, to allow individuals to report anti- LGBTIQ incidents, such as harassment, violence and hate speech.

Users can remain anonymous when reporting, or add contact information if they wish to receive support from trusted local LGBTIQ organisations. Individual reports won’t be shared with the police or governmental bodies – instead, local LGBTIQ support organisations will receive the information and data to manage and analyse. They’ll then lead on advocacy work across local regions within the Western Balkans and Turkey.

The anonymous statistics created from the data will be used to show governments and policy makers which policies and support systems for LGBTIQ communities must be introduced or improved. Crucially, the website has been built with the safety of LGBTIQ individuals in mind, so that users making reports can be sure that their personal information will remain private.

By creating a strong bank of evidence on hate crimes against LGBTIQ people, advocacy groups will be empowered to create meaningful changes in legislation at a governmental level. ERA also hope that members of the LGBTIQ community feel confident using You Are Heard to report incidents, since the platform will provide routes for survivors to access support in their area.

Visit You Are Heard following this link>>> and help spread the word.

 

The Role of the Civil Society in the EU Accession Process

In the framework of the EU-funded Technical Assistance to Civil Society Organisations in Western Balkans and Turkey (EU TACSO 3) project, we are pleased to invite you to participate in the P2P on-line event under the title: “The Role of the Civil Society in the EU Accession Process” that will take place on 25 and 26 October 2021.

This event is organised in cooperation with the European Policy Institute (EPI) from North Macedonia and the Think for Europe Network (TEN).

Aiming to discuss the needs for improved CSO inclusion in the EU accession process and IPA programming and particularly to share the current practices, a regional P2P event will be organised. The purpose of the event is threefold:

  • To discuss the importance of CSOs involvement in the EU accession process and IPA (III) programming;
  • To share challenges and to learn about upcoming potential changes in the EU accession process;
  • To learn from best practice examples.

The four main topics of discussion will include:

  • General overview of the mechanisms for CSOs involvement in the EU accession process
  • Mechanisms for CSO involvement in the IPA programming structures
  • Key challenges for meaningful CSO engagement in the EU accession process
  • Challenges posed by the new methodology for accession in terms of the role of CSOs in EU accession

The on-line event will gather up to 60 CSOs, public institutions representatives and experts, mainly those who are members of various platforms for CSO inclusion in the EU accession process in the enlargement region.

If you are interested in attending the P2P event, please register at the following link>>> until Thursday, 21 October till 15:00 hrs CET.

The event’s official language is English, with simultaneous translation provided in Albanian, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Montenegrin, Macedonian and Turkish.

The Zoom link to join the event, along with the agenda and other details, will be sent to all registered participants prior to the event.

 

Non-Paper on the IPA III CSF and Media Programme 2021-2023

Closely following the development of the IPA III Civil Society Facility 2021-2023 Multi-Beneficiary (Regional), the Balkan Civil Society Development Network (BCSDN), in consultation with several CSOs and networks from the region (see list of contributors/endorsing organizations below), prepared joint comments on the Action Document, presenting the views and positions of these organizations regarding the support to civil society in the IPA beneficiary countries.

DPNSEE is one of the regional networks which endorsed the non-paper.

Along with the lack of consultations on a national and regional level and limited access to information on the process, the document contains worrying and dissatisfying proposals that undermine instead of support CSOs in IPA beneficiaries. There is a lack of support for the enabling environment for CSOs, as the focus is greatly on freedom of expression and media, and the document does not address the importance of operational grants and the allocation of core and long-term support to CSOs. The EU plans to provide only 25 out of the 93 million EUR for grants to CSOs in the region, while the rest is to be implemented through direct contracts with UN Bodies, Member states, and international agencies, which jeopardizes the capacities and local ownership of CSOs’ of the processes.

The main points of the document are the following:

  • Consultations with and inclusion of CSOs are key for the success of the IPA III CSF and Media Programme, and should be structured, timely, and transparent;
  • The EU should continue to firmly support a more enabling environment for civil society development, as a precondition for the existence of a strong and accountable civil society;
  • The implementation modalities of the IPA III CSF should support the development of capacities of CSOs and local ownership of the processes in the region. Predominantly assigning the management of the facility to international agencies undermines WBT civil society and would be a great obstacle to the overall vision of enhanced regional cooperation;
  • The EU should put a stronger focus on core and long-term support for CSOs rather than short-term project support;
  • Regular assessment against the targets set in the Guidelines for EU Support to Civil Society in Enlargement Countries is important for ensuring the effectiveness and impact of the EU support for civil society.

The full document is available following this link>>> and is open for endorsement. Please contact executiveoffice@balkancsd.net if you are interested to endorse the document and join the advocacy efforts.

 

Harm Reduction Lab on Funding and Sustainability challenges for HR services in Europe

Correlation offers Harm Reduction Labs as a space for collectively imagine what harm reduction can be. The Harm Reduction Labs will offer the possibility to explore collective solutions, as well to imagine what harm reduction can be. In addition to exploring current themes and approached within the harm reduction movement, each Lab will offer space to come together and to identify common and urgent future questions that address broader topics of social justice, bodily autonomy and care, among others. You can find more about this interesting serial following this link>>>.

During the Lab on Funding and Sustainability challenges for HR services in Europe that is offered for Thursday 14 October, Correlation want to address different problem areas and challenges, covering:

  • The lack of funding in different European regions (CEE, SEE and SE)
  • Lack of funding for community-led programmes
  • Lack of funding for advocacy and civil society engagement
  • Causes and impact of the funding challenge
  • Opportunities and needs for advocacy and action
  • Good Practice Examples
  • Innovative approaches

Our Executive Director will be part of the panel, as well as a few other colleagues from the region. The link to the Lab is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85989331796.

 

Global Health and Drug Policy Course

The Graduate Institute of the Global Health Centre in Geneva hosts the Global Health and Drug Policy Executive Course from 11 to 13 October 2021. The Course participants are about to benefit from the course:

  • Gain insight into the key concepts and current issues related to the international drug control regime and its intersection with public health and human rights
  • Identify the different stakeholders of the current drug policy debate and international processes
  • Prioritize public health based approaches to drug policy at national level.

They will enhance their skills on

  • Critical thinking – Strengthen stakeholders mapping skills for better analysis of the different roles of Geneva and Vienna- based agencies in international processes
  • Introduction to negotiating skills – Negotiate and influence the design and the implementation of drugs policies nationally and internationally

This year’s hybrid course is highly participatory, drawing on the national and international experiences of participants through a multi-disciplinary learning process. It includes lectures by internationally-renowned experts and negotiators, case studies, and working groups. A negotiation simulation exercise will complement the learning experience.

 

DPNSEE presented and the CSFD – HDG meeting

The new Civil Society Forum on Drugs 2021 – 2023 (CSFD) held meeting with the Horizontal Drug Group on 7 October 2021.

The Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG) is a coordination body responsible for leading and managing the European Union Council’s work on drugs. This group, including national representatives of each EU country, meets on a monthly basis and prepares all relevant legislation and political documents adopted by the Council, such as the EU drugs strategies and action plans. In addition, the members of the group, under the leadership of the presidency, elaborate EU statements on drug-related aspects to be presented at international fora, such as the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND). Currently, HDG is chaired by Slovenia, which holds EU Presidency in the second half of 2021.

Topic of the meeting included Implementation of the EU Drugs Strategy and Action Plan 2021-2025, role of the CSFD and Drug-related deaths and how to best prevent them.

On request of the Slovenian EU Presidency, the DPNSEE Executive Director Milutin Milošević presented the Network, including presentation of the situation with services for people who use drugs and drug strategies in the region.

First meeting of the new CSFD

The new Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSFD) held its first meeting on 6 October2021. This was the first meeting of this important EU expert group where DPNSEE participated.

CSFD had an exchange with the representatives of DO Home and DG Sante. Discussion was mainly about lack of funding for full capacity of the Forum’s work.

CSFD agreed on the working group framework. As the results, four working groups are created

  • WG1: EU drug policy
  • WG2: International drug policy
  • WG3: National drug policy
  • WG4: Emerging drug policy issues and cross-cutting issues

Forum elected DPNSEE Executive Director Milutin Milošević as Chair of the Working group 4.

 

Global Organized Crime Index

The Global Organized Crime Index published today by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) provides the first-ever assessment of illicit economies in all 193 Member States of the United Nations. It shows the penetration of criminal markets, the risks and impact of organized crime, the dynamics of criminal actors, and the resilience of countries to deal with the problem.

The Index is the result of a two-year endeavour to evaluate levels of crime and resilience. Through this data, it is hoped that the Index will help inform a truly global response to the pervasive threat of transnational organized crime.

Because of its clandestine nature, however, often little is known about how organized crime operates in each country. To address this knowledge gap, the GI-TOC has developed the Global Organized Crime Index, a unique, data-driven analytical tool that evaluates 193 UN member states according to two metrics: according to their criminality on a score from 1 to 10 (lowest to highest organized crime levels), which in turn is based on their criminal markets score and criminal actors score; and according to their resilience to organized crime, from 1 to 10 (lowest to highest resilience levels).

The results of the first edition of the Global Organized Crime Index, outlined in the flagship report and the interactive Index website, paint a worrying picture of the reach, scale and impact of organized crime in 2020. Perhaps the most stark finding of the Index is that the majority of people worldwide live in countries with high levels of organized crime. The Index also shines a light on the ubiquity of some of the most insidious forms of exploitation that are perpetrated by criminal actors the world over, including individuals and networks operating from within the state apparatus. The Index also illustrates the widespread shortcomings in global levels of resilience to organized crime, from weaknesses in criminal justice systems to rampant corruption and violent crackdowns on the freedom of the press and civil society.

The Global Organized Crime Index is available following this link>>>.

 

The 5th EHRC programme announced

As we already wrote, the 5th European Harm Reduction Conference will be held from 10 to 12 November in Prague, Czech Republic and online.

The Conference organisers published the Program of the Conference which includes a variety of sessions on interesting topics. You can find the program following this link>>>.

DPNSEE is one of the organisations contributing to the programme. That includes participation in the panel “Quo vadis: the development of drug policy and harm reduction embedded into the broader development of societies in Europe” at the Plenary opening session S1.

Social return on investment for HIV services

Countries in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) region have made significant progress in setting the foundation for effective social contracting mechanisms. All of the countries have legal structures that allow them to contract NGOs for the provision of various HIV-related activities as well as provide care and support to PLHIV. However, some challenges remain, ranging from legal obstacles, complex bidding processes as well as lack of technical capacity (by NGOs) to participate in the bidding processes.

UNDP prepared the Policy Brief: Social Return on Investment for HIV services to explore this issue.

As the case studies featured in this brief have shown, activities that are conducted under the auspices of social contracting result in significant returns on investment: for each USD invested, there is a return in social investment of between 2 to 3 USD. These social returns include, inter alia, improved quality of life among PLHIV, numerous averted infections among key population groups, through counselling and distribution of needles and condoms, ultimately resulting in improved self-esteem and better quality of life among the key populations.

To access this document, please follow this link>>>.