Support to unaccompanied and separated refugee children

Montenegro is sharing the same challenges as the rest of Western Balkan countries. Between January and December 2022, Montenegro registered 8,298 arrivals, including 463 children (285 boys, 178 girls) mainly from Afghanistan, Iran, and Bangladesh. This presented an increase of 161 % compared to arrivals in 2021. In addition, in 2022, after the outbreak of war in Ukraine, around 95 000 Ukrainian citizens entered Montenegro (8047 applied for temporary protection).

Our member organisation Juventas published the “Guide on referral system/social services delivery for UASC in Montenegro”. This practical tool is of use for those who work with unaccompanied or separated child, citizen of a third country, or a stateless person under the age of 18, who entered Montenegro unaccompanied by an adult who takes care of him or remained unaccompanied after entering Montenegro, until placed under guardianship in accordance with the regulations of Montenegro.

The Guide will be a multipliable model for the efficient provision of social services to the UASC to support the establishment of a protection-sensitive migration management system in the target countries. It will serve to assist the UASC who approached our services and ensure that the assistance in service provision is provided in a timely and professional manner.

This document is prepared within the project “Security for Human Beings and Borders – Combating Smuggling of Migrants in the Western Balkans”, financed by the Group 484 through the EU project and implemented by the Nisma për Ndryshim Shoqëror – ARSIS (Albania) and NGO Juventas (Montenegro).

The Guide is available following this link>>>.


How to set up online harm reduction services?

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) presents a brief guide with recommendations how to launch a new – or improve an existing – online harm reduction service for people who use drugs. The guide “Recommendations for setting up online harm reduction services” entails all the information needed to start-up an online outreach programme. The information is presented in the form of concise, evidence-based, easily implementable recommendations.

It provides step-by-step, practical advice organized into thematic units, including sections on how to launch programs, policy development, staffing, safety and security, referral procedures, and a section on monitoring and evaluation.

The text is 100% reader-friendly, meaning that you literary do not need to know anything about ‘saturation’ or ‘validity’ or any other research related terminology. The recommendations included in this guide can be adapted in line with the needs and resources of individual organisations, local contexts, and characteristics of the target population. They can also be adapted for web outreach with other key populations, such as people living with HIV, sex workers, or men who have sex with men.

To access the Guide, follow this link>>>.


Budget Advocacy Guide

From the HRI webpage

How money is collected and distributed through public budgets influences the lives of millions of people in every country in the world. Those decisions might ensure food and shelter for many, or deprive others from essential healthcare services. Budget advocacy, which is a tool to influence those decisions, can make an impact on millions of lives.

Essential healthcare includes harm reduction services for people who use drugs. These services – such as needle and syringe programmes (NSP), opioid agonist therapy (OAT), drug consumption rooms (DCRs), overdose prevention with naloxone, and drug checking – protect against HIV, TB and hepatitis C (HCV) and save lives. Not only are they effective, they are cost-effective and cost-saving, and they have a positive impact on individual and community health.

Yet, the provision of these services is critically low. Only 1% of people who inject drugs live in countries with high coverage of both NSP and OAT. The harm reduction response to stimulant use remains underdeveloped, drug checking services are scarce and DCRs only formally operate in 12 countries, all of them located in the Global North. In 2020, only 15 countries permitted peers of people who use drugs to distribute naloxone.

Meanwhile, HIV infections among people who inject drugs continue to rise, accounting for almost half of new infections in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and the Middle East and North Africa in 2019. Prevalence of HCV among people who inject drugs is 50-times higher than among the general population, overdose deaths have skyrocketed in many countries around the world and stimulants use in Asia and sub Saharan Africa is increasing.  Despite the fact that many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) include harm reduction in their national policy documents, few of them actually invest domestic resources in these life-saving services, even where the need is great. This is often due to the criminalisation of people who use drugs, stigma and discrimination. At the last count, only US$188 million was invested in harm reduction in LMICs – just over one tenth of the US$1.5 billion UNAIDS estimates is required for an effective HIV response among people who inject drugs. The majority of this funding comes from international donors.

The Harm Reduction International published a new resource for harm reduction advocates. This guide provides civil society and communities representatives with an introduction to budget advocacy and some tools and strategies to support advocacy for sustainable harm reduction funding.

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


LGBTQ online safety guide

On the basis of a survey in which they asked 695 LGBTQ+ people worldwide about their experiences online, vpnMentor prepared a Guide to help this population to stay safe online. This guide aims to empower them and give them the tools to protect themselves online.

Some of the key findings of the survey indicate that:

  • 73% of all respondents in all categories of gender identity and sexual orientation have been personally attacked or harassed online.
  • 50% of all respondents in all categories of gender identity and sexual orientation have suffered sexual harassment online.
  • When it comes to sexual orientation, asexual people feel the least safe online, and gay men the safest.
  • When it comes to gender identity, transgender women feel the least safe online, and cisgender men the safest.
  • Transgender women are the most likely to be outed against their will online, while cisgender men are least likely.

The Guide which is available following this link>>> offers a lot of practical advices on finding community online, cyber bullying on social media, cyber bullying on online forums, controlling identity, tips for parents, etc.

A lot of this content may also be used by the people who use drugs and other related marginalised populations.