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.
In Kenya and Ghana, YouthRISE representatives have implemented research to explore the interventions currently being made in these two Sub-Saharan Africa nations relation to the intersection of HIV and drug use. They have also been engaged in capacity building to work with relevant people who use drugs in education them on the safe use of drugs by young women, adolescents, and HIV infected persons. HIV remains prevalent especially among marginalized groups within these countries. This project was carried out very successfully and included a number of positive recommendations, which you can read more about here.
The 4th Law Enforcement and Public Health conference in Toronto started on Monday, 22nd of October. Youth RISE took part in a pre-consultation and held a workshop on guidelines for police that Youth RISE is currently developing. The feedback collected during the session will be used to ensure the correspondence of guidelines to the needs of young people who use drugs and the police. At the main conference Youth RISE held a session and presented issues related to young people who use drugs and their encounters with police from across the world, emphasising the necessity for more good practices and cooperation. Police deputy chief from Belgium, Peter Muyshondt, participated in the panel to represent the police perspective.
The first ever Students for Sensible Drug Policy conference took place in Vienna on the 10th and 11th of November, with two Youth RISE members being in attendance. Our International Co-ordinator Morgana Daniele was invited to speak about harm reduction and her experience working and advising people in medical services working with people who use drugs. The event was attended by a number of young drug policy activists from universities across Europe, most of whom are members of SSDP, as well as attendees from the Paradigma coalition, Students for Liberty, and YODA.
Youth RISE have been implementing their Global Fund Project very successfully recently. The aim of the project is to aid the engagement of key youth populations in the Global Fund processes at country level. On the 5th and 6th of October in Kiev, Ukraine Youth RISE successfully implemented the training component of the project. The success of this aspect of the Count Me IN project leaves us well set to continue our work and increasing key young peoples interaction with the Global Fund project in their country in the future.
Youth RISE participated in projects, workshops, screenings and presentations in Thailand, Lithuania, Canada, Ireland, Czech Republic, Mexico, Nepal and Spain.