At the end of June, the United Nations held its yearly International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Yury Fedotov, head of the UN’s drugs crime office, marked the occasion with a speech. It wasn’t packed with surprises; turns out Afghanistan is still the world’s largest opium producer, the legal highs market is still booming and the planet’s governments still aren’t winning the War On Drugs. Continue reading

As part of the SUPPORT. DON’T PUNISH global advocacy campaign, Youth RISE members in Nepal organised the main action in the city of Pokhara to raise awareness of the harms being caused by the criminalisation of people who use drugs in their country. The campaign aims to change laws and policies which impede access to harm reduction interventions, and to promote respect for the human rights of people who use drugs.

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On 20-22 of May in Hammamet, Tunisia, Youth RISE joined other key global and regional youth organisations to develop a PACT for social change in the AIDS response.  The meeting involved a free space for the development of a youth strategy and solidification of a cohesive HIV youth movement, and also fed into the UNAIDS youth policy and strategy.  It was an important meeting that youth organisations had been calling for for some time and allowed the youth movement to define its own direction, priorities and goals.

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In  April, the HIV Young Leaders Fund (HYLF) sponsored an Advocacy Training for the Eastern Europe and Central Asia program grantees in Tbilisi, Georgia.Youth RISE and HYLF have been partners and working together since HYLF’s inception and for this reason, Youth RISE was invited to co-facilitate the training.  Our IWG Nicole Fereirra from Portugal on behalf of Youth RISE travelled to Georgia and co-facilitated training on Advocacy, Human Rights, Drug Policy, Youth Participation and Youth Friendly Harm Reduction Services, and promoted interactions between the grantees and other organisations, networks and stakeholders. Continue reading