Harm Reduction is an acknowledged part of a public health and a complex of vital interventions targeting better healthcare outcomes and wellbeing of people who use drugs. Overwhelming evidences recognise harm reduction as an effective and essential measure to protect people who use drugs from harms and unintended consequences of drug use. Impact of harm reduction on public health and effective response to communicable diseases, such as HIV and HCV is also widely recognised.
Harm reduction in Georgia counts nearly 15 years of history. With the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria being a key and only source of supporting and funding interventions. In the times of transitioning from donor to state funded harm reduction programmes, ensuring sustainable access to continuous and high quality services is a priority to be addressed.
Sustainability of harm reduction is envisioned through allocation of sufficient resources and capacities, as well as full integration in the social and health systems, and meaningful participation of civil society and community representatives in policy development and implementation.
Drug use in Georgia is criminalised and punished more severely than Human Trafficking, Murder of Terrorism. Repressive and punishment oriented drug policy, represents a main barrier for people to access healthcare services, social inclusion and human rights.
Harm Reduction Conference 2019 - aims to mobilize local, regional and international stakeholders and create a platform for dialogue on priority issues, with key focus on ensuring sustainable access of People who Use Drugs to essential services in Transition period of donor funding, as well as Repressive Drug Policies limiting access to these services.
Conference is targeted towards government, policy makers, researchers, practitioners and affected communities.
Conference is envisioned to act as an advocacy instrument to influence national decision makers in implementation of obligations of sustainable state funding for harm reduction, as well as decriminalization of drug policy.
Conference is fighting for equal access to health and human rights for criminalized, repressed and forgotten communities.