Support Don’t Punish: EATG joins communities in Ukraine for Global Day of Action 2021

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On this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (26 June), EATG joined the activities of local communities in Ukraine. EATG programme manager and member Anton Basenko moderated a press conference, joint by representatives of UNODC, the Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV (100% Life), the Ukrainian Network of People who Use Drugs (VOLNA/PUD.UA) and UNWUD. Anton highlighted EATG’s positions on drug policies and our support to local communities:

As a representative of the community of people who use drugs in Ukraine, I can confidently say that support of EATG as our EU partner in the Global Day of Action is more than valuable for us. Not only because we stand back to back jointly with other Ukrainian and EECA partners in the global advocacy for changing repressive drug policies, but because it brings the prospective of the progressive drug policy changes which have already passed in the majority of EU countries. Ukraine is a leader in the EECA region in the development of harm reduction services but at the same time has the second worse HIV epidemic in the WHO Europe 53 region. Ukraine is currently in the critical process of ‘transition’ from donor to domestic funding and now is on the edge of the adoption of the new Drug Strategy until 2030, a strategy which will define ‘to support’ the people who use drugs or ‘to punish’ them.

Earlier, EATG had endorsed a joint press release and a street action (Nuts of Ukrainian drug policy) through which protesters sought to draw attention to the current repressive drug policies in Ukraine.

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