Empowering women who use drugs for better human rights protection and access to HIV services

Project overall goal and objectives: to empower women who use drugs and build capacity of community organizations, human rights defenders and civil society to advocate for the rights of women who use drugs; to intensify technical support for women who use drugs activists in order to increase their capacity in engaging in local, national and international advocacy and human rights monitoring; to support meaningful participation of women activists in advocacy, through involving them into international human rights and drug policy forums (e.g. UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, UN Commission on Status of Women, UN Commission on Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice & UNAIDS Program Coordination Board; and the human rights council of the UN), as well in national and local platforms; to stimulate dialogue on human rights violations and inequitable access to justice as a result of harmful drug enforcement practices through building on EHRN's on-going work under the regional WOMEN AGAINST VIOLENCE campaign to empower women who use drugs to report human rights violations and police violence (through the provision of small grants to street lawyers groups); to harmonize advocacy agenda of women who use drugs in the region and to prepare joint positions and advocacy asks (at the regional women who use drugs meeting). 

Key activities: on-line trainings on human rights and face-to-face trainings for women activists, small grants for local women who use drug initiatives in order to conduct human rights seminars, to document human rights violations and/or cases of police violence, as well to identify and submit cases of human rights violations using different access to justice mechanisms, to prepare blog posts about human rights violation and about good practices in accessing justice; organization of a meeting with local stakeholders and establishment of least 2 partnerships; 100 women in each city will be informed about their rights and interviewed about rights violations in each city through human rights trainings, self-support groups, individual consultations, video material dissemination and printed material distribution.

Expected results: the greater priority to the rights and health of women who use drugs in Russia and Ukraine, as well as in other countries of the region in national and international human rights institutions agendas will be acknowledged; there will be strengthening of high-level policy dialogue on promotion and protection of women who use drugs human rights, whilst taking account of their vulnerability to rights abuses and the correlations between repressive drug policies and systematic violence against women who use drugs.

Strategic objective 2: Non-repressive drug policy and enabling law enforcement environment
Countries covered by the project
Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia
Project timeline
July 2015 - December 2016
Total budget
200,000.00 USD; Project extended until March 2017
Project donor
MAC AIDS FUND