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.
On the 30th of March, to mark the adoption of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs back in 1961, DPNSEE published a set of visual with the message Decades of Delusion.
We think that despite the continued re-launch of the war on drugs, States have been unable to reduce or contain the presence of psychoactive substances all over the world. The Single Convention, amended in 1972 and the other Conventions adopted in 1971 and 1988, have virtually had no effect on the world drug market-creating widespread and systematic human right violations at the trans-national level.
DPNSEE hosted the Webinar on EU Drugs Strategy 2021 – 2025 on Wednesday 24 March 2021. The Webinar was supported by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
The webinar was supposed to serve as a source of inspiration to support all those involved process of design, implementation and evaluation of drug strategies.
The EU Drugs Strategy 2021 – 2025 was presented by Danilo Ballotta, Coordinator – Institutional relations at the EMCDDA (link to Danilo’s presentation>>>).
Iga Jeziorska, from Youth Organisations for Drug Action, Chair of the Working Group on the EU Action Plan at the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs (link to Iga’s presentation>>>) and Adrià Cots Fernández, Research and Advocacy Officer, International Drug Policy Consortium spoke about the civil society involvement in the process of designing the Strategy.
A more critical view on the Strategy was offered by Péter Sárosi from the Rights Reporter Foundation (link to Péter’s presentation>>>).
Discussions in three separate discussion rooms followed on three main pillars of the Strategy: Reducing supply (facilitated by Željko Petković, Assistant Director, Service for Combatting Drug Abuse at the Croatian Institute of Public Health), Reducing demand (facilitated by Matej Košir, Deputy Chairperson, Vienna NGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs, UTRIP Institute, Slovenia) and Harm reduction (facilitated by Marios Atzemis, DPNSEE Board member, European AIDS Treatment Group Greece).
More than 70 representatives of governmental organisations, both on national and local level, academia, civil society organisations, international organisations and donor community participated.
The Webinar offered a comprehensive and interesting insight into the Strategy and caused an interesting discussion and exchange of views.
The Drug Policy Network South East Europe and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) invite you to participate in the webinar that will provide information on the new European Union drug strategy.
The EU Council approved the EU Drugs Strategy on 18 December 2020 setting out the political framework and priorities for the EU’s drug policy in the period 2021-2025. The strategy aims to ensure a high level of health promotion, social stability and security and contribute to awareness raising. On the basis of this strategy, the Council will prepare an action plan which will set out concrete measures to achieve these priorities.
With this strategy, the EU and its member states reaffirm their commitment to an approach which is based on evidence, comprehensive and balanced between demand and supply reduction of drugs, with the preservation of human rights at its core. At the same time, this strategy uses the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis in the drugs area and takes a future-oriented approach, promoting research, innovation and foresight to respond more effectively to increasing challenges and to anticipate them.
The webinar may serve as a source of inspiration to support all those involved process of design, implementation and evaluation of drug strategies. It is especially suitable for regional drug strategy makers, regional civil society groups, European and other interested participants.
The EU Drugs Strategy 2021 – 2025 will be presented by Danilo Ballotta, Coordinator – Institutional relations at the EMCDDA.
We also expect inputs from the civil society activists. The full list of speakers will be published before the webinar.
The Webinar will be held via Zoom on Wednesday 24 March 2021 starting at 13:00 CET. The Webinar will last for 90 minutes.
The Webinar will be delivered in English, with translation into Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian. We are exploring opportunities for translation into other languages of South East Europe.
As the number of participants is limited, please register by Tuesday 23 March using the following link>>>.
The Drug Policy Network South East Europe held the promotion of the Analysis of the data on drug-induced deaths in Serbia 2008 – 2019 on 10 March 2021 with the support of the Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.
The Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of Republic of Serbia and the Drug Policy Network South East Europe (DPNSEE) invite you to the promotion of the analysis of the data on drug-induced deaths in Serbia 2008 – 2019.
DPNSEE has prepared the analysis using statistic about the drug-induced deaths managed by the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia. The data used are segmented using codes of the causes of death, agreed with the Ministry of Health and the Institute for Public Health “Dr Milan Jovanović Batut”, in accordance with the standard protocol of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
The statistics include annual tables presenting number of those passed away by different indicators: gender, age, location, substance that caused death, consequence of long term use or accidentally, etc.
The presentation will be held in Serbian with translation into English via Zoom at the following link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86941798054 on Wednesday 10 March 2021 starting at 11:00 CET. The presentation would last for approximately 60 minutes.
DPNSEE was one of 4 organisations from Serbia which signed the contract with the (RYCO) for implementation of projects in scope of the 4th Open Call “A Better Region Starts with Youth”. The Call is financially supported by the European Union. The Contracting Meeting was held on 23 February 2021 in the Human Rights House (Kuća ljudskih prava), in Belgrade.
During the signing ceremony, the welcoming remarks were delivered by the Head of Information, Communication and Press at the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia Mr Paul-Henri Presset, the Head of the RYCO Local Branch Office in Serbia Ms Marija Bulat, Youth Representative in the RYCO Governing Board Mr Marko Kostić and the Assistant Minister for International Cooperation in the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Serbia Mr Uroš Pribićević.
Other three projects supported will be implemented by Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina, Red Cross of Vojvodina and Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia.
The selected projects will enable development of youth-led processes of intercultural dialogue and reconciliation in the Western Balkans, and the development of social capital among young people by strengthening the competences of young people and those who work with them.
Moreover, the projects are important for furthering implementation capacities of CSOs using a learning-by-doing approach, with special focus on increasing capacities to adapt and remain operational during COVID-19 pandemic situations and imposed safety measures. The supported projects standout as creative and innovative proposals, including online components or online focus.
The DPNSEE project “No Risk, no borders for young people” will strive to contribute to the efforts of the reconciliation processes in the WB countries and stronger youth participation in CSOs by developing and supporting regional youth cooperation focused on youth at risk, as its desirable overall impact/change.
It will be implemented in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia in partnership with our member organisations Aksion Plus, Margina, Juventas,Prevent and Re Generation.
The video from the signing ceremony is available at the Youtube channel of the EU delegation in Serbia
DPNSEE and Trimbos Institute hosted the Webinar “Drug Policy evaluations: opportunities to support inclusive, effective and evidence-based public policy” on Wednesday 10 February 2021. The aim of the Webinar was to provide information on drug policy evaluation as an effective instrument to guide, manage and support effective policies and services.
The Webinar included an introduction on drug policy evaluations and presentations on approach and methods and experiences from the evaluations performed in Croatia and Cyprus. Discussions in three separate discussion rooms followed on different segments of a policy/strategy cycle.
More than 90 representatives of governmental organisations, both on national and local level, academia, civil society organisations, coming from 31 countries, and international organisations participated.
The presentations from the Conference are ready to download:
Introduction to drug policy evaluation: Liesbeth Vandam, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction following this link>>>