World Drug Day 2019

On 26 June 2019, the United Nations, governments, non-governmental organizations, the media and citizens around the world will observe the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking to raise awareness about the impact of drug abuse and illicit trafficking of drugs.

The UNODC theme for the 2019 ‘World Drug Day’ – is “Health for Justice. Justice for Health”. The theme highlights that justice and health are two sides of the same coin when it comes to addressing drug problems, and that effective responses to the world drug problem require inclusive and accountable institutions of criminal justice, health and social services to work hand in hand to provide integrated solutions, in line with the international drug control conventions, human rights obligations and the Sustainable Development Goals. As in previous years UNODC has made available materials such as logos and social media packages. UNODC hashtags for World Drug Day 2019 will be #Health4Justice and #Justice4Health.

Many of our members designed their own campaigns and will hold events all over the world. Take a look at what is being done:

Support. Don’t Punish is a global grassroots-centred initiative in support of harm reduction and drug policies that prioritise public health and human rights. The campaign seeks to put harm reduction on the political agenda by strengthening the mobilisation capacity of affected communities and their allies, opening dialogue with policy makers, and raising awareness among the media and the public. The UNODC theme “Health for Justice. Justice for Health” has great potential for synergies with the messages that the Support. Don’t Punish campaign has promoted for the last 6 years.

The campaign’s yearly high point is the Global Day of Action, which takes place on, or around, 26th June (the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking). In many places, this date is still commemorated by showcasing drug control “achievements” in coercive terms. The campaign’s Global Day of Action seeks to shift the day’s narrative, focusing on the values of compassion, empathy and community. And so, every year, an increasing number of activists in dozens of cities all over the world join this unique and multifaceted show of force for reform and harm reduction.

Over the last 6 years, the campaign has seen more than 700 activities organised in 110 countries. The 2019 edition of the Support. Don’t Punish Global Day of Action is currently under preparation, with a broad range of activities being planned in over 200 cities in 80+ countries. A full list of activities will be soon available online to encourage solidarity and facilitate participation. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact campaign@idpc.net.

Organisation: Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA)
Event: Rise Above Campaign – Overcoming the Influence
Campaign Period: 26 June 2019 – 27 July 2019
Main Event: 27 July 2019 (Saturday), 4PM – 5.30PM
Objectives:
1. Garner mindshare and support for a drug-free Singapore
2. Counter the misperception toward drugs
3. Co-create preventive solutions and projects with community partners and stakeholders
· Build community anti-drug coalitions to lead preventive efforts on the ground
· Mobilise SANA Peer Leaders who are recovering drug users to advocate the anti-drug message to youths and schools

Campaign Activities:
· Online social media campaign featuring video testimonies from SANA’s clients and people in recovery on SANA FB 
· Futsal tournament for at-risk youths to raise awareness on drug issues;
· Community Social Responsibility (CSR) activities involving SANA’s clients and community outreach projects; and
· Anti-drug projects and outreach efforts organised by students and people in recovery.

On the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Dianova launches the “Human Empowerment” campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the need to promote a holistic approach to the addiction treatment based on individual empowerment by integrating the gender perspective.
Through the lenses of a unique concept, Human Empowerment, the campaign will address on the ability to choose by embracing life, promote education and life skills and regain control over your life and individual development.

We want to emphasize that it is possible to overcome these obstacles. That is why we consider it urgent to promote better accessibility to programs tailored to people’s needs and expectations. The ultimate goal is to help people regain their autonomy as well as their ability to make responsible and informed decisions about substance use and addictive behaviour.
Alcohol and other substance-related disorders generate considerable public health expenditure (0.3% of GDP), both in terms of human and economic costs. And a huge effort is required for the Government to tailor services to the specific needs of men and women.

It should be noted that women with substance use disorders are particularly victims of prejudice and discrimination. On the one hand, they are “labelled” as consumers of alcohol or other drugs. And on the other hand as having failed in their traditional roles as mothers and wives. The impact of this double stigma relates to the volume: of the 5 people receiving treatment, only 1 is a woman.
In this context, Dianova advocates the implementation of gender-sensitive programs, including integrated programs offering a wide range of services.

 

Youth RISE will participate in the Support. Don’t Punish Global Day of Action campaign and implement activities on the day of International Day Against Drug Abuse. Youth RISE members will be involved in events in Ireland, Lithuania, Mexico and South Africa. The members plan to be vocal on issues facing young people as well as effective harm reduction strategies.

“Young Wave” from Lithuania is organizing a media campaign to provide facts and stimulate discussions about state of harm reduction in Lithuania. There will be 3 pictures, illustrating Lithuania’s position on harm reduction: 1) lack of and weak harm reduction services 2) low coverage of OST program 3) lack of funding for harm reduction services, while lots of money is invested into incarceration of people who use drugs.

The Support Don’t Punish Global Day of Action in Cape Town, South Africa will see numerous organisations come together in support of harm reduction strategies and drug policies that prioritise public health and human rights. The day’s programme comprises of various youth performances and activities, alongside presentations from key stakeholders and government representatives. The focus of the event is to showcase the collective effort within the sector to stand together and promote the message of Support Don’t Punish. Youth RISE will provide financial support as well as present educational information on substance use and harm reduction strategies.

In Dublin, Ireland the Support Don’t Punish Global Day of Action event will involve a number of organizations coming together at the main park and shopping area in Dublin to interact with members of the public in an attempt to strike up conversations about people who use drugs, the services that are provided for them, and the failings of prohibitionist policies. In Ireland there is currently discussions being held in the public sphere regarding the decriminalization of substances for personal use, and we currently have planning permission being processed for a Supervised Injection Facility. While this progress is good the planning has been processed for almost three years now and we are still lacking in other key harm reduction facilities such as drug checking. It is important that the dangers presented by these shortcomings are highlighted on such a significant day in the drug policy reform calendar.

In Mexico the activities will vary from a youth discussion for sensible drug policy in downtown Mexico City at the Auditorio Nacional Benito Juarez along with the Institure of Legislative investigation, Agora foundation and Instituto RIA. In Queretaro, Queretaro, central Mexico, organized by SSDP Mexico the forum: use of psychoactive substance, institutional prespectives and non punitive alternative will take place on tuesday june 25th at Jardin Guerrero which is a public plaza in downtown Queretaro with speakers from SSDP and the Municipal Institute for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination. There will also be events taking place in Aguascalientes and Ciudad Juarez to raise awareness that drug policies in Mexico contribute to drug related violence, corruption and stigma to drug users. Mexico is a country that has been affected by punitive drug policies and a lack of proper education on prevention of legal and illegal psychoactive substance. Most drug users within the country do not have access to harm reduction tools and most have not even heard of harm reduction risks and damages associated with the consumption of drugs. With these events we hope to bring awareness on the need for a social and legislative changes in Mexico , since punitive and criminally focused policies have directly and indirectly led to violence throughout the country, an issue that continues to affect our youth population, while also opening up a safe space for drug users, their families and policy makers to change their views on drugs and drug users and the prevention of violence and substance abuse. With the events taking place in Queretaro and Mexico City we will also bring attention to our ConectArte project.

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