Strengthening Civil Society Advocacy for Critical Enablers of the HIV Response for People Who Use Drugs

Project goal and objectives: The overall goal is to end HIV transmission among people who use drugs by promoting harm reduction, human rights and supportive policy environments. The project responds to the needs of people who use drugs through a variety of practical activities to improve social and legal environments: capacity building workshops and events; small grants to support local advocacy programs and initiatives; practical guidance on harm reduction and human rights; and core support to empower two regional networks of people who use drugs and the international network for young harm reduction leaders.

Project objectives: to build the capacity and collaboration of Consortium partners, their membership, and other civil society partners, to effectively advocate for harm reduction, human rights and drug policy reform; to promote the scale-up of harm reduction services, and challenge repressive laws and policies that act as barriers to effective harm reduction and HIV programming; to monitor and document human rights violations against people who use drugs, and advocate collectively for their rights; to monitor harm reduction investments from donors and governments, and advocate for greater expenditure on HIV-related services for people who use drugs.

The project is implemented by the Consortium of seven leading international and regional harm reduction, drug policy and drug user networks – the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), Harm Reduction International (HRI), Youth RISE, the Middle East and North Africa Harm Reduction Association (MENAHRA), the Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN), the European Network of People who Use Drugs (EuroNPUD), and the Eurasian Network of People who Use Drugs (ENPUD).

Key EHRN activities (including support of ENPUD activities): EHRN and ENPUD will strengthen community-led advocacy in Eurasia by recruiting and supporting three regional ENPUD programmatic coordinators (to supplement the positions being recruited through the INPUD-led consortium), and developing a regional position on drug policy reform to inform advocacy efforts. Eurasian harm reduction conference (EHRN/ENPUD) will support communication, networking and collaborative advocacy, and will link the international, regional and national levels. EHRN and ENPUD will deliver a street lawyers project to provide legal advice to people who use drugs, and to protect against and document human rights violations in Eurasia. Community-based street lawyers will be trained and mentored, and regional coordinators will be hired and supported. Small grants will support national advocacy focused on human rights monitoring, while EHRN and ENPUD will use testimonies and documented violations to influence regional policies and practices.

Expected results: CSOs and Inadequately Served Population (ISP) networks (including the Consortium partners themselves) have greater capacity to engage in effective advocacy for better HIV responses. Greater focus on the human rights of people who use drugs at the global, regional and national levels, and greater civil society scrutiny of the performance of governments against international commitments.

Strategic objective 2: Non-repressive drug policy and enabling law enforcement environment
Countries covered by the project
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Project timeline
January 2016 - December 2018
Total budget
1 455 000 USD for 3 years for 7 consortium members (EHRN consortium 1st year: USD 86 454,2USD)
Project donor
Robert Carr civil society Networks Fund