Discussing for matters that matter to us

For one more year, the global campaign “Support. Don’t Punish” has been successfully implemented in Greece, with the valuable support of Drug Policy Network South East Europe, that effectively coordinated the implementation of the activities among the different countries in the SEE region, and International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) – responsible for the overall coordination of the campaign around the world.

This year in Greece, 7 different civil society organizations – that constitute the Greek NGO Platform for Psychoactive Substances*, an unofficial initiative for joint action among organizations working in the area of drug policy and psychoactive substances – joined forces and cooperated in order to effectively spread the message of the campaign, sensitize the public, raise awareness regarding the harms being caused by the criminalization of people who use drugs and promote the need for human rights and public health oriented drug policy and drug law reform.

These organizations co-organized a joint event, an open dialogue meeting entitled: “Support. Don’t Punish” – Discussing for matters that matter to us. The event took place on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at 7 pm, at the Athens Municipal Cellular Market (42, Fokionos Negris str). The aim of the dialogue was to discuss regarding: current public health and drug policies applied in addressing the issue of psychoactive substances, the way users are being treated by the state and society, the issue of combating crime that accompanies drug use by law enforcement and finally the removal of unjustified social stereotypes at the expense of PWUD, the importance for the provision of substantial support, as well as the need for equal, meaningful and substantial participation of users community in procedures totally concerning them.

The open dialogue meeting started with the presentation of the SDP campaign, important issues on the current national drug policy and the priorities set out by the community of PWUD by Mr. Anastasiou Christos (representative of PeNUPS) who also coordinated the discussion. Mrs. Katerina Konidari, psychologist, social researcher and writer, talked about the representation of addiction treatment on art; Mr. Michalis Lolis, Police Lieutenant of the A’ (First) Police Department for Combating Racist Violence, communicated his experience on human rights’ issues and the protection of people with different identities and Mr. Yannis Kissas, representative of PeNUPS specifically referred to the Network’s proposals for supportive policies rather than the punishment of drug users.

This year the participation at the event exceeded our expectations. More than 80 people from different backgrounds (e.g. scientists, professionals working in the field of drugs, representative from the Ministry of Health, people from the community of PWUD, volunteers from different organizations, activists, representatives from residents’ initiative, people with no prior involvement from the general population, etc.) were present at our event, who actively participated in the discussion by sharing their reflections, raising questions and contributing from their point of view. At the end of the event, following an online vote among members of the Network a symbolic prize (an office compass) was awarded at the OKANA Substitution Unit which according to Peers’ view provides the most friendly and integrated services to PWUD.

The press release for the event was published by many different online media sites. Moreover, ERT – Greek public state television – expressed the interest to present our event. Mr Christos Anastasiou, Μr Thanos Papagianopoulos and Mr. Marios Atzemis – all representatives of the community of PWUD – were hosted by the journalist Mr. Arvanitis Kostas at his broadcast entitled “Different Dimension” and talked about the campaign, promoted the message that PWUD need support instead of punishment, underlined the need for active involvement of PWUD in the decision making processes and the need to address stigma and marginalization.


*The NGO Platform for psychoactive substances consists of the following organizations:
PeNUPS – Peer Network of Users of Psychoactive Substances
CENTRE FOR LIFE for the support of people living with HIV/AIDS [DPNSEE member]
DIOGENIS – Drug Policy Dialogue [IDPC partner member & DPNSEE partner member]
POSITIVE VOICE – Association of People living with HIV/AIDS [DPNSEE member]
PROMETHEUS – Hellenic Liver Patient Association [DPNSEE member]
PRAKSIS [IDPC network member]
STEPS

Long list of activities in the Support. Don’t Punish campaign in South East Europe

On the occasion of the 26 June, The United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the Global Day of Action of the Support. Don’t Punish Campaign is organised in more than 150 cities in the world. The Drug Policy Network South East Europe this year again coordinates activities of the campaign in South East Europe, where 10 of our member organizations are pushing actions in 9 countries and 11 cities.

To the launch the campaign, DPNSEE will organise “Kick-off event” in the EU Info Centre in Belgrade, Kralja Milana 7, on 21 June 2018 at 12:00. Representatives of the Network will present the current situation in the countries of South East Europe. To contribute to the campaign, DPNSEE will also present the baseline research on “Documenting Drug Related Cases of Discrimination”, an activity within the project “Strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations in South-East Europe and promote drug policy based on respect for human rights and public health”. Our guests will be Danilo Ćurčić from the A11 – Initiative for economic and social rights and Dr Hajrija Mujović, Vice -chair of the Association of Lawyers for Medical and Health Law of Serbia – SUPRAM.

Representatives of the Network will as well present the activities of the Network members in the countries of the region.

In Albania, on the 26th of June, Aksion Plus will organize awareness activities in two cities, Tirana and Durres. The activities will include sharing leaflets and information especially toyoung people. In their Opioid Substitution Therapy centres, they will organize small group discussions, outreach information, leaflets distribution, one to one conversations and counselling to raise their awareness on how to better protect their rights, as well as to provide referrals to other institutions in case they face violations from police, courts and law enforcement agencies. During campaign clients will be strongly encouraged and supported to fight for their rights and report to the organisation or to the People’s Advocate when they face violence or stigma, and messages of the campaign will be also communicated to the Government officials.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, organization Margina will organize events in city of Tuzla. That will include promotional activities, starting the campaign on 11th of June by screening documentary film “I want to wake up” with aim to point out the problem of education of young people and reducing stigma and discrimination against drug users. Other activities planned are Public Debate and Press Conference “CANTONAL INSTITUTION FOR DISEASES” – Why do we not have it? as introductory event to the entire day of action on 26th of June, that will also be presented through street action in city of Tuzla. In this event, following documents will be presented: Bosnia and Herzegovina National Drug Strategy 2018 – 2023, Policy to reduce drug use damage in the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina, Decisions of the Government and the Tuzla Canton Assembly on the establishment of the “Institute for Addiction of the Tuzla Canton”. The Association Margina is dedicating this day, as well as other days of the year, to people who have adopted this “lifestyle” with the aim of bringing the wider community closer to the addicted population and so additionally contribute to the reduction of stigma and discrimination.

Check out their facebook event and join the day of action:  https://www.facebook.com/events/407051669794756/

In Bulgaria, organization Initiative for Health Foundation will write and promote article, telling the story about the campaign worldwide and its implementation in Bulgaria in the last years. The article will be written by a professional journalist and popularized mostly in NGO platforms and other online channels. The organization will also develop a frame for a Facebook profile image and dissemination on social media consecutive counting of dissemination

To activate your facebook frame in the Bulgarian language go HERE

In Croatia, Organisation Terra will organise the Forum theatre performance on the problems of a former addict who is hindering discrimination due to his past. The play will be organised on the 26th of June, to mark the International day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking. The theatre will be played in the city of Rijeka, Croatia.

Check out their facebook event and join the day of action:  https://www.facebook.com/events/2087957514813170/

 

In Greece, in Athens, the action will be implemented by the NGOs Platform for Psychoactive Substances. This platform is an unofficial initiative for joint action among organizations working in the area of drug policy and psychoactive substances, currently consisting of the following organizations: Centre for Life, Diogenis, Peers Network of Users of Psychoactive Substances, Positive Voice, Praksis, Prometheus and Steps. This year the Greek NGO Platform for psychoactive substances will undertake the organization and implementation of the campaign in Greece.

They are organising an event on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at 7 pm, at the Athens Municipal Cellular Market (42, Fokionos Negris str) as an open dialogue regarding: current public health and drug policies applied in addressing the issue of psychoactive substances, the way users are being treated by the state and society, the issue of combating crime that accompanies drug use by law enforcement, and finally the removal of unjustified social stereotypes at the expense of PWUD, the
importance for the provision of substantial support, as well as the need for equal, meaningful and substantial participation of users community in procedures totally concerning them.
The event will be followed by participation of Mrs. Katerina Konidari, psychologist, social researcher, and writer, who will talk about the representation of addiction treatment on art; Mr. Michalis Lolis, Police Lieutenant of the A’ (First) Police Department for Combating Racist Violence, who will communicate his experience on human rights’ issues and the protection of people with different identities and Mr. Yannis Kissas, representative of the Peer Network of Users  psychoactive Substances, who will specifically refer to the Network’s proposals for supportive policies rather than the punishment of drug users. The discussion will be co-chaired and coordinated by Mr. Christos Anastasiou, member of the Peer Network of Users Psychoactive Substances.

You can find the full press release in English HERE  or on Greek HERE

To get involved:

Like their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/supportdontpunishGreece/

Join their facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/179003616107047/

Follow them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/support.dont.punish_greece_/

In Macedonia, organisation HOPS will to focus on recreational drug use, harm reduction and human rights. The central event will be organized in Skopje, as a public debate/panel on the health and legal aspects of recreational drug use and harm reduction. Activists, experts, decisions and opinion makers will take part in the debate, which will also be streamed online. In addition, IEC materials will be produced containing information on practices for reducing harms from recreational drug use, as well as personal rights. The 3 different leaflets will be promoted during the public debate and will be later distributed during the field activities at music events. All activities will be supported by a social media campaign aimed to inform a wider audience on harm reduction practices and raise public awareness about human rights.

Check out their facebook event and join the day of action: https://www.facebook.com/events/1632706273514505/

 

In Montenegro, organisations Juventas and Link will organize several activities such as Street movie projection nights, on the 26th of June and screen a documentary by Drugreporter that would be premiered during the campaign. The documentary is following the work of our two NGOs, talking about the implementation of the Harm Reduction Program in Montenegro, most of all covering the story of the work and struggles of the Drop in centres for people who use drug and sex workers and our outreach work. Documentary is also talking about the challenges that NGO Juventas and NGO Link face in daily work with clients and in the partnering institutions. In addition to this documentary, other documentary films of the NGO’s that are conducting Harm Reduction program in the region are planned to be screened, as well as some cult films that correspond to the topic.

During the campaign the project team will set up an information stand at one of the University of Montenegro’s Faculty in order to influence on young people, share with them message of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign, as well as information about the harm reduction program itself and the services provided by NGOs Juventas and Link. NGOs will distribute information to media and ensure national media coverage.

Check out their facebook event and join the day of action: https://www.facebook.com/events/251897252232425/

 

In Romania, this year Romanian Harm Reduction Network alongside with other two member organisations of DPNSEE,  ARAS and ALIAT will organize a series of activities to mark the Global Day of Action and participate in the campaign. They vary from online consultations with people who use drugs on changes to be made to the law 143/2000 on preventing and combating trafficking and illicit drugs use, using iterative-designed videos online to presents law 143/2000 and others laws on drugs in Europe. They will also organize a consultation meeting with representatives of NGOs providing services (prevention, harm reduction, treatment) for people who use drugs on the changes to be made to the law 143/2000 on preventing and combating trafficking and illicit drugs use, organize a “lawkathon” (working session) with lawyers from LGBT, human rights, Roma, education, feminist and/or housing NGOs to formulate the amendments to the law 143/2000 on preventing and combating trafficking and illicit drugs use, according to the proposals made by people who use drugs and NGOs providing services during the consultations, organize a round-table/meeting with representatives from various ministries on the proposal to amend the law 143/2000 on preventing and combating trafficking and illicit drugs use. Last but not least there will be organized flashmob/short event at the Parliament building to raise awareness on the proposal to amend the law 143/2000 on preventing and combating trafficking and illicit drugs use.

In addition to the activities listed above, they are planning on connecting a series of other events financed through private sources to raise awareness on stigma associated with substance use and addiction, under the same harm reduction / Support. Don’t Punish umbrella.

The facebook event to join the action is: https://www.facebook.com/events/179830952686479/

 

In Serbia, NGO Prevent will implement action Support. Don’t Punish for the fourth time in Novi Sad. Campaign will start on 20th June when the media were informed about the action. Prevent will spread information through social networks and during campaign reach over 30 thousand people in this way. Prevent also announced the competition for the best short video on the topic Support. Don’t. Punish which will be the official promo video of their Association for participation in a global campaign marking International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking 26th of June.

To follow up their camapaign and street action find more information on their facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/preventns/

 

NGO Re Generation, together with Drugstore Belgrade, announcing the Global Day of action within the campaign Support. Don’t Punish, are organizing an event that will start the cooperation of this club and this organization in order to create safer nightlife, which is the first of this kind in Serbia. After recent events in Europe that have been linked to drug policy and nightlife, NGO Re Generation and Drugstore decided to launch higher-level cooperation within the framework of the Global Day of Action, in order to influence the change of awareness and the change in drug policies in general. Joining the campaign, Re Generation and Drugstore want to express sincere concern and start the program, present the activities within the cooperation with which they start their own struggle for safer, better quality and better night environment that we are all part of!

Join their event and support the healthy nightlife settings:  https://www.facebook.com/events/278127766064145/

 

Sustainability of the project on the table

The second partners meeting of the project “Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South Eastern Europe” in 2018 was held on 7 of June in Thessaloniki. Greece.

The discussion of the meeting was oriented around the topics that included reporting from the partner organisation about the implementation of the Action plan 2018 and partners activities. This was of special importance since this is the last year of the project implementation.

The partners used the opportunity to discuss the situation of drug policy and harm reduction in their respective countries, as well as development over the course of last 4 years when the project was implemented. The project partners also internally evaluated the project activities so far and discussed about the way forward regarding the content and the funding of the future actions to be undertaken.

Petition of the Greek NGO PLATFORM for psychoactive substances

The member-organizations of the NGO PLATFORM for psychoactive substances filed a petition that was followed by a related memorandum to the Greek Minister of Health, Mr. A. Xantho requesting for a robust, fair, substantial, accredited and legally established participation of the civil society, including members of the community of people who used drugs, in the process of planning, implementing and evaluating the national drug policy. Despite the multitude of relevant European and international recommendations, that practice is not always deemed obvious or essential.

The Platform requests to participate in the work-process of national drug policy-making within the national planning and coordinating commission with one regular member and one alternate. They believe that their long-standing experience, the high level of our expertise and comprehensive engagement in the fields of drug policy and psychoactive substances justify such a decision.

The petition is available following this link>>>
The original Greek version is available following this link>>>

Mapping services supporting drug users in Athens

According to recent estimations, around 30.000 people coming from vulnerable populations, including drug users, live in Athens. The lack of effective monitoring systems and related data regarding the actual numbers of these populations, and the insufficient communication and cooperation among service providers, leads to overlapping services, barriers to access in prevention, healthcare, harm reduction and therapeutic services and poor management of human and financial resources.

To contribute to solving this serious problem, Diogenis is building a mobile app as an interactive tool for street-workers and professionals working in the field of drugs. This tool will contribute in the best dissemination of information regarding the available governmental and NGO services for drug users and other vulnerable populations, and also help street-workers provide direct linkage to healthcare, prevention, harm reduction, therapeutic services, information on emergency issues and holistic support to drug users.

This is an example of a crowd funding campaign – a method that many civil society organisations is using recently to generate fund.

Greece adopted the law on medicinal cannabis

On March 1st 2018, the Greek Parliament adopted the bill “Provisions for the Production of end products of medicinal cannabis”. The Standing Committee on Social Affairs discussed the draft law at two meetings of the committee and organized a hearing in the Greek Parliament with participation of patient organizations, drug service providers, representatives of the scientific community, agricultural trade unions and civil society organizations. An extensive debate took place in Parliament’s plenary, which ended with the adoption of the bill. The majority of the Parliament voted in favour of the bill.

Thanasis Apostolou, General Director of Diogenis – Drug Policy Dialogue, writes about this important development in a document you can find here.

Take the first step for your protection

More than 50% of people living with HIV worldwide are women. In Europe 1 in 3 HIV diagnoses concerns women. In Greece, 66,5% of women that have been diagnosed with HIV, until today, acquired the virus through heterosexual sexual intercourse.

The above data combined with the fact that there is lack of female-oriented awareness campaigns in Greece, motivated the Centre for Life (Kentro Zois) to design a powerful awareness campaign for the female population, focusing on heterosexual intercourse, in order to convey the message that HIV concerns women as well and that women can take the initiative for a healthy sex life.

Centre for Life’s campaign entitled “Take the first step for your protection” has the valuable support of the Melina Merkouri Foundation and constitutes the first coordinated awareness effort for women concerning HIV and/or AIDS in Greece. Leading roles of the campaign are played by Lena Drosaki, Lena Papaligoura, Ioanna Pappa and Gioulika Skafida, actresses that have been awarded with the Melina Merkouri Theatre Award for their performances.

Kentro Zois would like to thank the Dramatic Arts of the Piraeus Society and the talented actors Augoustinos Koumoulos, Dinos Gelameris, Angelos Dallas , Nikos Mavrakis & Elias Adam for their particpation, Larry Gus for letting us use the song “Aggelos Kiriou”, as well as Pitch for the warm hospitality.

The Centre of Life, since its foundation, implements support and empowerment services for seropositive women, as well as information and prevention actions for the female population. Women are a population particularly vulnerable to HIV, both due to biological factors and psychosocial factors.  Given all the above, the Centre for Life considers of utmost importance the message of information and proper prevention to reach all women, thus inviting the public to support this effort for an issue that concerns us all.

More about the campaign you can find HERE>>>

Greek organisations united around the “Support. Don’t Punish” campaign

For one more year, the global campaign “Support.Don’t Punish” has been successfully implemented in Greece. In 2017, 6 different civil society organizations – that constitute the Greek NGO Platform for Psychoactive Substances, an unofficial initiative for joint action among organizations working in the area of drug policy and psychoactive substances – joined forces and cooperated in order to effectively spread the message of the campaign, sensitize the public, raise awareness regarding the harms being caused by the criminalization of people who use drugs and promote the need for human rights and public health oriented drug policy and drug law reform.

The organizations that supported the implementation of the campaign were:

  • CENTRE FOR LIFE” for the support of people living with HIV/AIDS [DPNSEE member]
  • DIOGENIS”- Drug Policy Dialogue [IDPC partner member & DPNSEE partner member]
  • PeNUPS”- Peer Network of Users of Psychoactive Substances
  • POSITIVE VOICE”- Association of People living with HIV/AIDS [DPNSEE member]
  • PROMETHEUS” – Hellenic Liver Patient Association [DPNSEE member]
  • PRAKSIS” [IDPC network member]

For the achievement of the aforementioned goals, two main activities were implemented:

  1. A press interview (June 27th, 12.00-14.00h, at Romantso, 3-5 Anaksagora Street, Omonia, Athens)
  2. A street event (June 27th, 19.00h at SIN Athina, Athens)

Furthermore, before the 27th of June, representatives of these organizations took the initiative to spread the message of the campaign during several official events, that were organized by state authorities by asking officials, journalists, scientists, decision-makers and other high-ranking representatives of governmental organizations to take a photograph with the logo of “Support.Don’t Punish” (e.g. Mrs. Teta Papoutsopoulou-Diamantopoulou, the National Drug Coordinator; Mr. Evaggelos Kavetzopoulos, President of the Hellenic Organization against Drugs- OKANA; Mr. Nikolaos Manios, Chairman of the Parliament’s Committee on Social Affairs; Μr. Nikolaos Paraskevopoulos, MP and former Minister of Justice).

The press interview given by representatives of PeNUPS

The press interview was given by representatives of PeNUPS (Peer Network of Users of Psychoactive Substances), Mr. Christos Anastasiou and Mr. John Kissas, promoting in that way peer involvement which is one of the basic principles of Harm Reduction.

The remaining organizations actively supported the needs for the preparation and successful implementation of this activity. It was the first time that people coming from the community of PWUD had the floor in a press interview, which attracted 30 participants and was coordinated by the journalist Mrs. Ioanna Sotirchou.

During the afternoon of the 27th of June, a street event also took place in the center of Athens. The goals of this activity were to make the campaign more visible, celebrate the message of “Support.Don’tPunish”, provide informational material and offer some services both to the general population and vulnerable groups (including PWUD) in the area.

 

The street event in the center of Athens

Volunteers from the coordinating organizations actively contributed in the implementation. T-shirts, bags, stickers with the logo of “Support. Don’t Punish” and flyers with the basic principles of Harm Reduction were distributed. In addition, NGO Praksis offered free, anonymous and voluntary rapid testing for HIV, HBV and HCV with its mobile unit. Moreover, of outmost importance was the contribution of the initiative “STEPS” that helped in the preparation of food and beverages and offered music. This event gathered and united around a hundred people.

For the needs of campaign’s promotion a facebook page was created under the title: Support.Don’t Punish -Greece- where you can have access to more detailed information, videos and photographs. Facebook advert was used attract more people to the page, resulted in 300 likes within a week.

2 facebook events were also created for the promotion of the two activities:

https://www.facebook.com/events/203865003471040

https://www.facebook.com/events/321069778316468

Group photo from the street event

Initiative for the establishment and coordination of the “Greek Observatory for the Medical Use of Cannabis”

In view of the on-going progress in the field of the medical use of cannabis at international level, as well as the current developments in Greece, NGO Diogenis within a network of collaborating civil society organizations – with years of experience, knowledge and activity in this specific area of interest – is undertaking the initiative to set up and coordinate the establishment of the “Greek Observatory for the Medical Use of Cannabis”.

The common goal of organizations involved is to ensure the immediate, unhindered and legal access of patients to quality cannabis for medical use based on international evidence based data and best practices.

Fundamental conditions required to achieve this goal are considered to be:

  • The creation of the appropriate legal framework to support and protect patients in their use and possession of cannabis for medical purposes.
  • The guarantee of access for patients to the appropriate form of medicinal cannabis in accordance to the indications of each individual medical condition.
  • The development of strategies to strengthen domestic cannabis production for medical use, beyond the introduction of legal medicines and cannabis preparations from abroad, to protect both the domestic economy and patients from the inherent risks of a market which is quickly being dominated by large multinational companies and international investment funds.
  • The promotion and defence of patients’ rights in accordance with the European Charter of Patients’ Rights (i.e. the right of access to the health services that health needs require, the right to information, the right of free choice, the right to avoid unnecessary suffering and pain).

You can read the press release here.

Support. Don’t Punish – SEE Country activities

Albania

In the frame of the 26th of June and the world campaign Support. Don’t Punish, Aksion Plus will organize awareness activities in two cities, Tirana and Durrës, distributing leaflets and sharing information especially to young people. In parallel, they launched an online blog inviting young people, their beneficiaries and partners such as Y-peer, YMCA, Youth Voice network to write “What would you do about drug user’s rights, if you were a Prime minister” related to the drug policy reforms, treatment, and other related actions.

Other activities also involve their clients at opioid substitution therapy centres (OST) where they organise small group discussions, outreach information, leaflets distribution, one to one conversations and counselling to raise their awareness on how to better protect their rights, as well as to provide referrals to other institutions in case they face violations from police, courts and law enforcement agencies. The most vulnerable groups among their clients (i.e. street users, sex workers who use drugs, LGBT members) are strongly encouraged and supported to fight for their rights and report to Aksion Plus or to People’s Advocate when they face violence or marked stigma. Their six OST centres will be very active to convey the message of this campaign. Aksion Plus will also try to extend the activities with decision makers and politicians though it will be difficult as the general elections will take place on 25 of June. They have presented their ideas on drug policy and interventions during the Democratic Party election campaign.

Contact: gencaxionp@albmail.com


Bosnia and Herzegovina

To mark the day of 26th of June Association Margina planned a series of activities:
1. Public debate “Addiction and drug addicts in the legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina”
The public debate on this subject will be held on 26 June, in cooperation and partnership with the University of Tuzla. Professors and students of several universities (Law, Medicine, Education and Rehabilitation, Philosophy and Pharmaceutical) will participate. The goal is that academia provides guidelines on the suggestions of experts and NGOs that Bosnia and Herzegovina need Lex specialis “Law on Drugs” that would encompass all aspects of this phenomenon and its application in the society like the one in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

2. Marking the global campaign “Support. Don’t Punish”
The evening of 26 of June will be dedicated to outdoor activities and promotion campaign supported by local DJs and socially engaged bands. During activities, a documentary film “I want to wake up,” will be shown, which gives a complete picture of the life of five drug users in different stages of their life.

3. Press conference and promotion of strategic documents
This event will be the introductory full-day program aimed to the media and partners that want information about these important documents and the developments regarding the Global Campaign to reach to the largest possible number of citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At this event Margina will promote the following documents:
• National Strategy of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Drugs 2017-2022
• The policy for reducing harm from drug use in the Federation of Bosnia Herzegovina
• EU Action Plan 2017-2020

Contact: berinabahic@gmail.com


Greece

A group of civil society organisations from Greece will participate in the campaign:
• “CENTRE FOR LIFE” – for the support of people living with HIV/AIDS
• “DIOGENIS”- Drug Policy Dialogue
• “PeNUPS”- Peers’ Network of Users of Psychoactive Substances
• “POSITIVE VOICE”- Association of People living with HIV/AIDS
• “PROMETHEUS” -Hellenic Liver Patient Association
• “PRAKSIS”

These organizations constitute the “Greek Platform for Psychoactive Substances”, an unofficial initiative for joint action among organizations working in the area of drug policy and psychoactive substances. This year all these organizations are supporting the campaign and are responsible for its implementation in Athens, Greece. You can find more at https://www.facebook.com/supportdontpunishGreece/

Activities in Greece will include:
1. Press conference by “PeNUPS” supported by all the aforementioned organizations on 27 June from 12:00 to 14:00 at  Romantso, 3-5 Anaksagora Street, Omonia, Athens with aim to promote the campaign, highlight the actual needs of people who use drugs by giving floor directly to people who are the most affected by problematic drug policies. The challenges in the national drug policy will also be presented and the need for drug law reform and peer involvement will be promoted as one of the basic principles of harm reduction. The discussion will be coordinated by the journalist Mrs. Sotirchou Ioanna.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/203865003471040/

2. Street event (all the aforementioned organizations) with aim to make the campaign more visible to the general population and to offer some services to people who use drugs (e.g. food, mobile washing machine service, shower bus, rapid tests for HIV/HBV, HCV) Date: to be announced Location: SIN Athina, Athens at 19.00 pm, at Varvakeios square
Facebook event:https://www.facebook.com/events/321069778316468 

Contact: sofia.galinaki@diogenis.info


Macedonia

HOPS – Healthy Options Project Skopje opened the newspaper articles contest on the topic: „Why harm reduction programs are needed in the Republic of Macedonia“. You can find the call for articles here http://hops.org.mk/mk/content/povik-za-izbor-na-najdobra-novinarska-statija-na-tema-odrzhlivosta-i-potrebata-na-programite.

Subsequently, organization announced on-line petition for support on harm reduction programs in the Republic of Macedonia. You can find it at following link: https://www.change.org/p/ministry-of-health-and-the-government-of-the-republic-of-macedonia-a-petition-for-supporting-harm-reduction-programs-and-hiv-prevention-in-of-macedonia

On 25 and 26 June, HOPS will collect signatures for the petition in the main square in the city of Skopje while on 30 June they plan to submit the petition to the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and announce the winner article.

Contact: vlatkod@hops.org.mk


Montenegro

Our Member organization Juventas with other civil society organisations and community-based organisations, including youth organisations organises campaign in capitol Podgorica, but with national coverage on several activities. One of them is media launch of the questionnaire for young people living in Montenegro. NGO Juventas and the Montenegrin Union of high school students as a main aim of the survey will try to obtain information from young people about young people. They will be used to continue creating activities aimed at young people in Montenegro, in the area of drug use. The questionnaire is completely anonymous. Survey among Youth on drug use you is available here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Juventas

In 2017, the campaign is planned to cover 3 topics: 1) Harm Reduction, 2) Non-existing treatment for underage people who use drugs, 3) Young people and drug use.  Special attention will be given to topic of young people and drug use, which will be a part of youth debate that we will organize around Action Day.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/799566700220674/ 

Contact: tijanap@gmail.com


Serbia

Belgrade

Within the “Support. Don’t Punish” Global Day of Action NGO Re Generation is planning to organize a movie screening night that will aim to address the main obstacles and main problems regarding current drug policies in Serbia and wider. The event will be organised in Kvaka 22, on the 26 June, and the details of the event you can find on the Facebook event https://www.facebook.com/events/312618992520893

The three movies that will be screened will represent different sides of public health and human right issues related to drug use, including three different aspects of use such as recreational, problematic and medical and obstacles that exist when accessing information, services and other relevant programs.
Movies to be screened are:

  1. “Clubbing and youth health” – Harm reduction programs in recreational setting
  2. “Medical cannabis legalisation in Serbia” – Medical cannabis is legal in places as diverse as Canada, Uruguay, Israel and Jamaica. How would legalisation of medical cannabis look in Serbia?
  3. “Without shift” – What happened to NSP programs in Serbia after the Global Fund discontinued funding in Serbia.

Participant of the debate are:
Galeb Nikačević – VICE Srbija
Bojan Arsenijević – Re Generation
Teodora Jovanović – KSEA,
Ognjen Martinović – Re Generation

Contact: ngo.re.generation@gmail.com

Novi Sad

The Association Prevent will organise street action on 26 June from 10AM to 13AM in front of „Slobodan Bajić“ student home. The public event will include wearing t-shirts with „Support. Don`t Punish“ message and photograšhing people in the street who will be holding boards with the same slogan. Free t-shirts will be given away to people who want to support the campaign.

Contact: djnebojsa84@yahoo.com


Romania

RHRN with their partners will have the street activity around 2-3 open-air tents that will be installed in the centre of Bucharest, close to the University, to distribute information, the comic book on drugs, some banners on legalization and the campaign, presentations of the NGOs activities and distribution of some drug testing kits (LSD, ecstasy).

Contact: drosca@rhrn.ro