YODA Workshop for young activists in Europe

Last week (15 – 22 May) around 30 young people from 12 countries gathered in Belgrade for another round of workshops organised by Youth Organisations For Drug Action in Europe. This time the workshops, funded by European Youth Foundation and Open Society Initiatives, focused on “Promotion of social inclusion and protection of human rights among young drug users “.  Young people came from Serbia, UK, Belgium, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Macedonia and representative of the Council of Europe. 5 of them were representatives of DPNSEE member organisations Juventas, Re-Generation, Aksion Plus, HOPS and Margina.

The aim of the workshop was to analyse different aspects of human rights violations regarding young people and drugs through mentioned topics, so that official document can be drafted, addressing policy change in order to overcome different problems and prevent human rights violation in the future. Within 7-day long workshop participants were showcasing examples of human rights violations of young people protected under the European Convention on Human Rights and also compared the criminal penalties for drug offences in their countries, compared cases of young people receiving drug treatment and discussed access to drug treatment for young people who use drugs.

International Symposium “Towards Changes”

On the occasion of 26 June – the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the Special Hospital for Substance Abuse in Belgrade, Serbia, organised the international Symposium “Towards Changes” on 16 and 17 June. Topics included changes of trends in drug use, organising a network of institutions that provide treatment to addicts, including private medical services and local communities and prospective of further development of clubs for cured alcoholics and gamblers. Besides local medical experts, guests came from Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, FYRO Macedonia and Montenegro. Keynote speaker was Mr Antti Jearventaus from Finland who presented his work on use of Internet in fighting drugs, prevention and addiction treatment.

Irena Molnar, representing her NGO ReGeneracija and the DPNSEE Office (the only one from the NGO sector), was invited to participate in the open table dialogue with representatives from the region and to speak about involvement and use of resources of local community and organizations of civil society in resolving drug addiction.

Irena met and established contacts with many participants from different countries. Most important were those with Serbian Director of the Office for combating drugs, the Focal point and Office for monitoring of Ministry of Health, referring to EMCDDA and Director of the Special hospital for addictions. She presented DPNSEE and announced visits that we shall pay to countries of the Western Balkans.