This year, on June 26, the Global Day of Action of Support Don’t Punish Campaign marks its 10 year anniversary. The Campaign marks 10 years of resource mobilisation on the way of tackling the inhuman“war on drugs” and 10 years of progress towards human rights, health, science, and harm reduction based drug policies.
As AIDS Action Europe, we join the “Support Don’t Punish” Campaign and recognize the indispensable role of decriminalisation and harm reduction in achieving human rights based equal societies, protecting key populations and marginalised groups, as well as ending the AIDS pandemic.
Following these principles, and by request of our member organisations and decision by our Steering Committee, we introduced Harm Reduction as a new Core thematic area in our Strategic Plan 2022-2026 “Working Together to End Inequalities”. The Strategic Plan looks at the harm reduction from intersectional human-rights based approach and pays special attention to the work with women and key populations who are left behind from traditional harm reduction services:
“AAE members also identified harm reduction services that are sensitive and responsive to the needs of women and other key populations who are left behind by traditional harm reduction services as a priority in the Region and as a core thematic area that AAE should work on in the 2022-2026 strategic period. Further to this, harm reduction services, especially in central and southeast Europe and in the EECA countries are systematically underfunded and thus disrupted. Moreover, there is not an adequate legal context for those services, resulting in continued and regular harassment of frontline workers by the police and municipal authorities. In collaboration with other regional networks working on harm reduction, AAE will focus on supporting and providing capacity-strengthening activities to our member organisations, and identifying the gaps in harm reduction services for women, migrant communities, and the LGBTIQ+ community, specifically in the phenomenon of ChemSex”.
As a part of the new Core thematic area, AAE works on a new European HIV Legal Forum project – “Access to Services for People Who Use Drugs”. The objective of this project is to review and revise discriminative legislation and policies, which are barriers to PUD access to HIV- and coinfection(s)-treatment, care, and prevention services. The project recognizes the intersectionality of human rights violation on account of such laws and pays special attention to PUD that are part of other key affected communities (e.g. sex workers, gay men, or migrants), who face multiple stigma and discrimination and often double criminalisation.
Let’s work together to end inequalities!