About EHRN

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Network's (EHRN) mission is to promote humane, evidence-based harm reduction approaches to drug use, with the aim of improving health and protecting human rights at the individual, community, and societal levels.

The Eurasian Harm Reduction Network's (EHRN) mission is to promote humane, evidence-based harm reduction approaches to drug use, with the aim of improving health and protecting human rights at the individual, community, and societal levels.

The Network's geographical focus includes Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA), which consists of 7 sub-regions:

  • Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania),
  • Central Europe (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia),
  • South-Eastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia),
  • European Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine),
  • Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia),
  • Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan),
  • Russia.

In 2005 EHRN was granted a Special Consultative NGO Status by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). This Status provides access not only to ECOSOC, but also to its many subsidiary bodies, the various human rights mechanisms of the United Nations, ad-hoc processes, as well as special events organised by the President of the General Assembly.

Our Strategic Objectives

EHRN is a regional network of harm reduction programs and their allies from across 29 countries in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA). Together, we work to advocate for the universal human rights of people who use drugs and to protect their lives and health.

Founded in 1997 soon after the dramatic increase in injecting drug use and the emergence of the HIV epidemic across the region, EHRN now unites over 600 institutional and individual members, tapping into a wealth of regional best practices, as well as expertise and resources in harm reduction, drug policy reform, HIV/AIDS, TB, HCV, and overdose prevention. All EHRN members contribute to advocacy efforts, technical assistance and information-sharing aimed at achieving EHRN’s three main objectives:

  • Reforming governmental and legal policies related to drug use and harm reduction
  • Building capacity for quality harm reduction services that meet the needs of people who use drugs
  • Increasing funding for harm reduction, especially from domestic sources

Our Key Roles

As a regional network, EHRN plays a key role as a liaison between local, national and international organisations. EHRN ensures that regional needs receive appropriate representation in international and regional forums, and helps build capacity for advocacy, drug user community mobilization and service provision at the regional and national levels. EHRN draws on international good practice models and on its knowledge about local realities to produce technical support tailored to regional experiences and needs. Finally, EHRN builds consensus among national organisations and drug user community groups, helping them to amplify their voices, exchange skills and join forces in advocacy campaigns.

Our Recent Accomplishments

In 2012-2013, EHRN solidified its role as a key network representing harm reduction values and as a partner to meet the needs of people who use drugs. Important and most recent milestones include providing key support to community members in their creation and strengthening of the Eurasian Network of People who Use Drugs (ENPUD) and bringing the 23d International Harm Reduction Conference to our region.

EHRN has shown its ability to galvanize communities, engage in sophisticated data collection and reporting, successfully advocate for change, and mentor and support community organisations to help them be more effective. EHRN has forged relationships with community members, government representatives, multilateral agencies, public health officials and donors. Its extensive and effective work with these constituents highlights the respect it has earned as a model of network development around the world:

  • EHRN’s partnership with Open Society Foundations (OSF) in 2013 in conceptualizing the regional advocacy campaign “Harm Reduction Works: Fund It!” responded to the lack of strategic investments in harm reduction programs by the governments in the region that significantly undermines the HIV response in CEECA.
  • The grant from the Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund has been used to mobilize the community of people who use drugs, strengthen ENPUD as an organisation and build the drug user community’s capacity to advocate for human rights and equal access to essential HIV and harm reduction services.
  • EHRN’s 3 year multi-country program supported by the European Commission allows EHRN to advocate for gender-responsive harm reduction services for women who use drugs and provides technical support to national harm reduction organisations to design and implement gender-sensitive services in six countries of the region.
  • EHRN’s partnership with Levi Strauss Foundation and MAC AIDS Fund allows for regional advocacy against violence against women who use drugs and to builds the capacity of women who use drugs to protect their basic human rights and redress their violations.