Our member organisation Re Generation hosted today the Round table on the occasion of the #BezbedanParty (SafeParty) project.
During the Round Table, the results of four months of this project were presented. Within the event, proposals for the amendments of local and national Action Plans were presented in order to increase the safety of young people in nightlife, created by the joint work of NGOs Re Generation and experts, based on data obtained through community research.
Every day we encounter various situations in the night life, in which young people who go out to nightclubs and attend festivals can potentially be exposed to dangers related to the use of psychoactive substances (drugs and alcohol), but also other health, social and legal risks. This is partly because the public is not familiar with harm reduction programs, and an honest and fact-based conversation about drugs remains taboo.
That is why the goal of this project was to initiate a dialogue on risk issues in the night life, and encourage and introduce the community to harm reduction programs in Belgrade, and educate those who work and those who work to survive clubbing more safely.
Activities of the project included:
Training for peer educators intended for young people who go out to nightclubs and visit festivals, but also to DJs, owners, managers, promoters and other figures in the clubbing industry. Upon completion of the training, participants will be introduced to harm reduction programs when consuming psychoactive substances.
Promotion of educational materials related to harm reduction programs, safer nightlife practices, as well as the distribution of party packs
Discussion with the competent authorities in order to amend the relevant National Strategies and Action Plans
The #SafeParty campaign, which will not only invite the target group to action, but will also be able to contribute, keep up to date with events, changes and news, but also to get involved in the advocacy action itself.
The #BezbedanParty project was implemented as part of the “Explore – Empower” public advocacy support program funded by the UK Government and implemented by the Trag Foundation. The implementation of this project was strategically supported by the Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.
The Office for combating drugs of the Government of the Republic of Serbia organised a conference in occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Belgrade on 26 June 2019. Representatives of international organisations, governmental institutions, civil society and media joined to hear about latest experiences and successful stories in fighting drug abuse and support to the people who use drugs.
After the welcome and introductory speech from the Director of the Office Milan Pekić, presentation followed:
A comparative analysis of the statistic data about drug seizures in 2018 – Radomir Popović, Office for combating drugs
Modern approach to treatment and curing drug addiction – Dr Diana Raketić, Special hospital for addictions
Psycho-social interventions and re-integration process of people with drug disorder in Serbia – Milka Kalaba, The Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy
Misuse of drugs in adolescence – Dr Svetislav Mitrović, Institute for mental health
New psychoactive substances and new trends in drug use – Dr Jelena Janković, Ministry of Health
Treatment of addiction of people in prisons – Dr Maja Paunović, Special prison hospital
Role of media in drug prevention and fighting stigma of ex-drug addicts – Mladen Mijatović, Member of the Committee for fighting narcomania in schools
The civil society had an important role too with Aleksandar Žugić from the Association Izlazak presenting Evaluation of multi-sectorial meetings they held in local communities, while Irena Molnar from NGO Re Generacija spoke about the “Support. Don’t Punish” campaign. She also presented the results of the research on “Discrimination of people who use drugs” prepared by DPNSEE.
The conclusion of the conference is that cooperation between different stakeholders is very much needed, as well as education of people from different professions (health workers, police, teachers and others, including civil society activists) on drug addiction and human rights.
DPNSEE member organisation Re Generacija implemented the survey “Access to services of ex-users of the needle and syringe programme closed in Belgrade and Budapest” with the support of the Rights Reporter Foundation. Aim of the survey, implemented in 2018, was to analyse the consequences of closing the services and the effects that it has on risks and daily life of injecting drug users. Objectives included to reach out to the service users and learning about their current use of substances, mapping their access to services, sterile injecting equipment and analysing their perception of the closure of services and most important currently missing service. The conference was also an opportunity to discuss the current situation with recently established outreach programmes, as well as opioid substitution therapy and early warning system for new psychoactive substances.
The results of the survey were presented today at the conference organised together with the Office for Combating Drugs of the Government of Republic of Serbia. The conference was held in the Palace of Serbia, with participants coming from both governmental and civil society sectors.
Two major groups of users were approached by the survey: drug users which were using the services for a long time and Roma people. A typical drug user both in Belgrade and Budapest is male, in mid-forties, with low education and income. In Budapest, users mainly use new psychoactive substances (synthetic cathinones), while in Belgrade they mainly use opioids (heroine). One of the main conclusion from the survey is that closing the services caused even more difficulties to reach out to drug users who are usually very suspicious.
In scope of the project Strengthening NGO capacity and promoting public health and human rights oriented drug policy in South Eastern Europe, Diogenis – Drug Policy Dialogue, in co-operation with the Drug policy Network in SEE (DPNSEE) and the Office for Combating Drugs of Serbia, organised a meeting between representatives from the countries in the region of South East Europe and representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The meeting was held on 10 May in Belgrade, at the representative governmental building Klub poslanika.
The aim of the meeting was to bring together representatives responsible for the coordination of drug policy in the countries of South East Europe and representatives from NGOs working in the field of drugs to discuss about the cooperation between authorities and NGOs at the national level. The meeting was an opportunity to exchange information and experiences of good practices and to reflect on possibilities of future cooperation on the national and regional level. Exchange of information, experiences and good practices leads to ideas of setting up co-operation structures, which can be profitable for both national authorities and NGOs.
At the first part of the meeting, participants discussed the current situation of cooperation, existing models and conditions that need to be fulfilled for good cooperation. The second part of the programme focused on areas of cooperation between National Authorities and NGOs in the field of drugs related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030 and the recommendations of the UNGASS 2016.
The meeting showed that the relation between governmental and civil society sectors in the area of drug policy is improving. Ideas produced can bring better cooperation for a mutual benefit and, first of all, for the benefit of key affected populations and the societies as whole.