Pleaders of Children and Elderly People at risk (PEPA) organised an event on 22 September to launch the Support. Don’t Punish campaign in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
By means of ARASA’s support, PEPA actively participated in the launch. In the run-up to the launch, PEPA organised a drug policy reform commission, including magistrates, police, people who use drugs, members of parliament, lawyers and civil society. The inclusive nature of the commission allowed for a robust discussion, but it also poses challenges given diverging ideas on drug control. However, the commission proposed an amendment to the country’s drug policy to make it more suitable to the community interest, asking among other things for the decriminalisation of drug use.
Despite the political situation in Congo, the campaign launch and march brought together civil society organisations, communities, people who use drugs, partners, advocates, women, youth, etc. More than 260 people decided to march along. The politic reform proposal was submitted to the Parliament and to the office of the Governor, and PEPA expects to follow the proposal and make sure it is discussed.