An attempt at a large group photo in front of CND today was prevented from happening by security due to the presence of Support Don’t Punish imagery and slogans. Despite receiving permission for a photo, and the UNODC giving funding towards the Support Don’t Punish campaign, the photo was briefly prevented because it was deemed to be a protest or demonstration which had not been sanctioned, before eventually being given the all clear without the use of slogans, with the posters all being confiscated. Participants were threatened with bans and prevented from recording the incident, with one person being escorted from the location. This suppression of radical and dissenting voices at CND is astounding!
Youth RISE International Coordinator Morgana Daniele spoke this Thursday at the High-Level Ministerial Segment of the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna. She spoke as a youth representative on behalf of Youth RISE at the side event entitled “A Health-Centered Approach to Drug Dependence, a Multi-Factorial Health Disorder”. The event was organized by the Norwegian Government and Morgana gave an impassioned speech encouraging attendees to fight to help those with addiction and empower people with as many possibilities and opportunities as possible to overcome to illness of addiction. You can view a full video of the speech here.
During the annual reflection meeting on 26-27 Feb, 2019, held in Bangkok, Thailand, Youth RISE, along with other consortium members agreed and decided to strengthen and expand the Global Consortium of Youth-led organizations. It was agreed that this would be done through a number of channels by increasing collaboration and coordinating with each other in 2019. Hence In 2019 all consortium members agreed and allocated some budget from each side, to organize a Global workshop on Global Fund which is planned to be held in June 2019 in South Africa.
Youth RISE has attended the annual Harm Reduction Consortium meeting in February and finalized the previous 3-year project round by submitting our narrative and financial reports, as well as sharing the results of 2018 with our donor Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund and the Consortium partners through the publication of our annual report. Youth RISE as part of the Consortium will continue its work of civil society strengthening in the next 2019-2021 project round, which promises to be continue our regional work, organisational development and expansion, campaigns and better communication.
Youth RISE has expanded its International Working Group to 16 members, with plans for a further expansion to become a team of 20 people by April. Our new team formation allows Youth RISE to represent drug and youth related issues from a truly global perspective. The newly formed team will work to further strengthen our network in 2019 by implementing small grant activities on regional level, as well as organising specific actions and campaigns.
YouthRISE are happy to publish our Annual Report for the year of 2018. The report, entitled “12 Years of YouthRISE” shows the many projects we are happy to have been involved with this year. It spans through the work we have done in the past year starting at the national level in our countries and regions through to international conferences and advocacy work at the United Nations. You can view the annual report here.
We’re very happy to be able to announce that Youth RISE has become a partner in the three year “Youth Taking Roots and Branching Out” Project as part of the Robert Carr Network Fund (RCNF) Youth Consortium. The project is a collaboration between Youth RISE, Youth LEAD, Y PEER and Y+ Network.
Y+ Network provides “leadership and empowerment to young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) globally, ensuring they are meaningfully engaged and included in political and programmatic spaces that impact their lives”.
Youth RISE will be developing elearning content on harm reduction/drug policy, public health/human rights and advocacy. We will pilot the content in four regions of the world each year. We will also develop an online resource library hub.
We have our first Consortium kick off meeting in Bangkok at the end of February and will hold a youth consultation later in the year!
Please let us know if you have any thought or suggestions around content to include.
YouthRISE is delighted to share that we have added two new members to our core managerial committee, Ailish Brennan and Florian Scheibein. This new core team will enable for better project management and communications, and we are delighted to welcome our new staff. who previously held positions as IWGs. The appointment of new staff also coincides with the incoming appointment of several new IWGs over the coming weeks.
YouthRISE publishes its report “Exploring the Niche: Young People Who Use Drugs and Law Enforcement”. In 2018, our organisation focused on building bridges between young people who use drugs, their organisations and initiative groups, and the police. Various means were chosen to create a better understanding between the two groups, including the development of guidelines on the topic giving rise to new best practices, and they are described in the report. “Law enforcement is a shared structure in each country, and in every region there is considerable work to be done to build mutual understanding, determine methods for co-existence, and cooperate in order to champion the protection and progression of health and human rights of young people who use drugs” says YouthRISE International Coordinator Morgana Daniele. You can view the module in full here.
Youth RISE presented their Guidelines for Police for working with Young People who use drugs as part of at the recent 2018 European Harm Reduction Network Conference in Bucharest, Romania. This was done as part of a session called “Drug Policy Trends: Alternative to Coercive Sanctions” organised by the fantastic Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA). Speakers included inspirational legends working in Hungary, Russia, Estonia and throughout the Baltic region. International co-ordinator Morgana Daniele also presented her own personal research on service provisions for people who use drugs, specifically for people who use heroin in Lithuania. The presentation provided insight into the capabilities of Opioid Substitution Treatment services and the people providing them, and was well received in a session titled “Bringing Treatment to the Community” with HA-REACT.