Comments on important documents on drug issues
National strategy - National action plan
In the summertime and after a big pressure that reached till the Prime Minister's office, we were given the possibility to send our comments upon the draft of the National Strategy and the Action plan on drugs, prepared by the official commission chaired by the National Coordinator on drugs, mrs Diamantopoulou - Papoutsopoulou. At the beginning all greek 6 NGOs working together in the civil society platform on drugs we have provided the National Coordinator with a common statement, which you may find in greek here.
Furthermore we have agreed that each organization that wishes so may give seperately some detailed comments. PRAKSIS underlined the following:
- the need to stay alert concerning new diagnoses on HIV, Hepatitis and TB among PWUD, as prevalence remains in high level,
- the need to evaluate and adjust the prevention programs and strategy taking under consideration that Greek REITOX recent data show increase of cannabis use among young people,
- the need to open the dialogue upon the upcoming trend in some countries concerning the legalizastion of cannabis,
- the adoption of the comprehensive package proposed by the 3 more important international organizations (WHO, UNODC, UNAIDS), concerning harm reduction,
- the need for legal coverage for the drug consumption rooms,
- the need to change the legal frame in order to support volunteer, free of charge and anonymous testing for HIV and other STIs,
- the participation of the civil society in a 2 years european program concerning monitoring and reporting of New Psychoactive Substances in collaboration with the greek REITOX focal point and greek drug users.
Charter rights of dependent individuals
Through a totally different procedure, and daring to say learning from previous errors made, the General Secretary of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights put from the very first moment the draft document in public consultation. The draft was prepared by Professor Meni Malliori and Lawyer Danai Papachristopoulou.
PRAKSIS had the opportunity to comment twice, the second time together with the International Drug Policy Consortium.
The main parts underlined were:
- the need for a more participatory role for PWUD in every level through which policy is shaped and concerns people who use drugs,
- the need to state all written commitments that our country has signed in different agreements,
- the more systematic reference concerning harm reduction rights in order to be equally recognized within the document to the rights in treatment and care.
We are now waiting for the final version of the documents hoping to see if not all our comments at least some of them incorporated. Through this procedure civil society proves that wants to be among the active stakeholders because can state its point, some views, proposals and ideas.