Organisations: Community of PWUD, League of people with HIV, MSM, Harm Reduction organisations
A series of actions was held in the framework of the international campaign “Support. Don’t Punish” in Chisinau, Moldova. The goal was to attract the attention of the general public and put an end to the punitive drug policy, as a result of which people’s health, social and economic development are deteriorating, human rights are violated. The main message was “Criminalization and discrimination of people who use drugs is extremely harmful and ineffective”. The actions were initiated by the community of people who use drugs of the Republic of Moldova.
Drug policy can be humane and thus effective if people are not punished. The medical system and harm reduction programs are more effective in addressing issues related to drug use. “We are ready for the international action “Support. Don’t Punish”. We believe that our state will change its approach in the legislative area, and take further steps towards a humane drug policy. Today, the war on drugs has turned into a war against people. Punishment does not work, it only embitters them and brings the whole society to negative results,” the activists stated.
- Action 1. Parliament. Moldova Consortium, the League of PLHIV, Pulse Initiative Group, GenderDoc M, the Partnership for Equal Access, ECUO, UORN, TDV BALTI in the framework of the international campaign “Support. Don’t Punish” and the national campaign “Together for life” held an action in front of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova in Chisinau, at the initiative of the community of people who use drugs and other key populations and organizations of Moldova. The aim of the action is to draw the attention of decision-makers and the general public to end the punitive drug policy, which today negatively affects healthcare, socio-economic development and human rights in Moldova, and is one of the main barriers to get access to HIV prevention services. Activists called on Parliament and the Government to remove political, legislative and ideological barriers and ensure the right to health and other human rights for drug users, their families and society, as well as increase public funding for prevention programs. The activists addressed to the Parliament of Moldova the following messages: “Support instead of punishment!”, “Rehabilitation instead of imprisonment!”, “Access to harm reduction programs – instead of a limited number of places in OST program!”, “Communities from all over the world call on governments to stop the senseless war on drugs”, “By qualifying drug addiction as a crime, the government creates criminal tools to use against people”, “The basic human rights to health, life, freedom of choice, movement and many other things are violated”, “Support, don’t punish!!!” The activists handed over an appeal to the Prime Minister, Mr. Pavel Philip, and the Chair of Parliament, Mr. Andrian Kandu, to urge decision-makers to reconsider the legislative policy in the country, stop persecuting and punishing people because of their illness or use of any psychoactive substances, follow the positive example of the European Union countries and draw attention to the fact that the European community opposes repressive approaches and condemns all kinds of discrimination against drug users, as it is contrary to the European standards of democracy and welfare. Also the activists asked in their appeal to organize a government investigation of violations of rights of people who use drugs, since International human rights standards impose obligations on governments to promote and protect these rights. The activists also called on to promote the adoption of guidelines for the humanization of policies for people who use drugs and the introduction of laws and practices that promote respect for rights on a non-discriminatory basis.
- Action 2. Embassy of The Republic of Kazakhstan. Activists came to the Consulate General of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Moldova to support the community of people who use drugs in this country, since it was on June 26 that the fate of the substitution therapy program was decided in Kazakhstan, and the fate of people who use drugs. The representative of the Consulate General of Kazakhstan received a letter of support for the OST program. Thus, the Moldovan activists supported the appeals signed by 64 organisations from all over the world, as well as the held an action to support opioid substitution therapy programs in Kazakhstan.
“Необычная акция прошла у стен бельцкой примарии.” July 2, 2018.
Organisations: Moldova Consortium, the League of PLHIV, Pulse Initiative Group, GenderDoc M, the Partnership for Equal Access, ECUO, UORN and TDV BALTI
We decided to organize an action on the day of the municipal council meeting in order to personally ask questions to municipal councilors in Balti, Moldova, at the initiative of the community of people who use drugs and other key populations and organizations of Moldova such as Moldova Consortium, the League of PLHIV, Pulse Initiative Group, GenderDoc M, the Partnership for Equal Access, ECUO, UORN and TDV BALTI.
The activists asked the staff of the city hall the following question: “In your opinion, do drug users deserve punishment or support? » We asked the citizens the same question in the Central square of Balti. Its purpose was to draw attention of the public and local authorities to the situation regarding drug users in Balti. All respondents said that drug users did not deserve any punishment. No one said that it should be used. Thus, these answers do not confirm the exaggerated opinion, that the Moldovan society is not ready for the liberalization of drug policy.
The community of PWUD in Moldova, together with other groups and organizations, is going to continue its work in developing and implementing a new humane model of drug policy, and so that oppression of people who use drugs could be finally stopped. We are going to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights on all these issues.