On the occasion of International Human Right’s Day, celebrated each year on December 10th, Civil Society organizations from South East Europe, make a call for change towards human rights’ oriented drug policy.
Worldwide, we have seen large-scale abuses of international human rights in the name of the drug control system. During the last decades, repressive policies – particularly focused in law enforcement – have been the main strategy of addressing the drug phenomenon. This approach is clearly in total contradiction with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948. Among others, the right to life, the right to health, the right to be free from discrimination, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to due process and a fair trial are violated on a regular basis against a particularly vulnerable and marginalized population, that of people who use drugs. Read more
The World AIDS Day is an opportunity to remember all those who lost their battle with HIV, and those who continue to fight to eliminate the disease. However, daily (2015) worldwide, 5753 people are infected by the virus. Many of them belong to the so-called “vulnerable” groups and one of them are injected drug users, mainly of opioids. In Greece, the rate of new infections due to transmission through shared syringes are in average 37% for the years 2011 to 2014 (source: KEELPNO).
The only way to reduce these numbers, that is, more people to protect themselves from a possible infection with the HIV virus, is to increase harm reduction measures through a national strategy and a national action plan. These could be two tools for proper coordination, to avoid overlapping activities in the field and better distribution and management of human and financial resources, that exist in almost all EU countries. Apart from Greece. And this is a gap, which on the occasion of the World Day for AIDS, we as civil society, need to bring to the fore, if we really care to protect vulnerable populations from the HIV virus. Read more
Meeting with the Minister of Health, Mr. Ksanthos, took place on Monday 14/11/2016, with representatives of the “Greek NGO Platform on Psychoactive Substances”. The meeting took place at the request of partner organizations, which are based on multi and interdisciplinary experience in the implementation of interventions in the field of psychoactive substances and drug policy, presented the priorities and requests to the Minister.
The positions and proposals of the Platform, to the Minister of Health, can be seen at the following link:
The NGO “Diogenes – Drug Policy Dialogue” organized the presentation of the new edition “Sentencing of Drug Offenders: Legislators’ Policy and the Practice of the Courts in South Eastern Europe”. The book is edited by Mr. Thanasis Apostolou (Director of ‘Diogenes’) and published by “Sakkoulas Publications”. The event was held on September 27th, 2016 in the Europe Direct hall of the Municipality of Athens.
In the discussion panel chaired by Mrs M. Malliori, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Athens, the participants were:
– Nancy Antonopoulos, PhD Criminology AUTH
(Author of the research for Greece, published in the book)
– Evangelos Zacharias, Appeals Prosecutor, Chief Prosecutor of Piraeus
– Evangelos Kafetzopoulos, neurologist – psychiatrist, President OKANA
– Chris Vettas, director of KETHEA “PROMETHEUS”, Northern Greece
The event was supported by the Europe Direct office of the Municipality of Athens.
You can see the full program here. (Greek)
Letters to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Justice was sent by the six NGOs – members of the “NGO Platform on psychoactive substances”, calling for the necessary and immediate initiatives to be taken, aimed at implementing a coordinated policy geared to public health and human rights.
You can read the Press Release here (ENG)
The Greek “Platform of NGOs for psychoactive substances” consists of the following organizations: “DIOGENIS – Drug Policy Dialogue”, “POSITIVE VOICE”, “CENTRE FOR LIFE” in support of people living with HIV / AIDS, «PROMITHEAS – Liver Patient Association of Greece”, “GREEK DRUG USERS UNION” and “PRAKSIS”.
https://ppsgr.org/ – firstname.lastname@example.org