Second Newsletter For International Drug User Activists

  1. hardcoreharmreducer
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Second newsletter for International Drug User Activists[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]about [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The 2006 IHRC In Vancouver[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]April 30 – May 4[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Update about the work done by International Drug User Activists for the 2006 gathering in Vancouver.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]1. Skills Building Sessions: Program Details[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]2. Canadian User Activists: [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Involved, Organizing [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]pan-Canadian[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif] and Making Their Voices Heard[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]3. The next newsletter[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]1. Skills Building Sessions: Program Details[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The international working group organizing the Drug User Activists skills building sessions at the 17th International Conference on the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm is proud to present the detailed Skills Building program. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Monday May 1, 13.30h-15.00h Enhanced Peer to Peer Hepatitis C Education[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Monday May 1, 15.30h-16.50h Voices United: Building an Effective Methadone Advocacy Organization [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Tuesday May 2, 13.30h-15.00h Documenting Human Rights Violations against Injection Drug Users: Advocacy for Health[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Tuesday May 2, 15.30h-16.50h Activism And Drug User Ethics[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Enhanced peer to peer hepatitis C education [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Monday May 1 13.30h-15.00h [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Grant McNally (United Kingdom Assembly on Hepatitis C, London, UK)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]second presenter to be confirmed[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]"This session will look at a program to provide enhanced hep C peer education to groups of users and how to do it. In doing so it will look at what theories are used, what makes them effective and how to cascade, or roll over, the model to achieve maximum benefit. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Participants will be able to view the resources used and are invited to discuss the possible use in their individual countries. "[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Voices United: Building an Effective Methadone Advocacy Organization [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Monday May 1 15.30h-16.50h [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Becki Brooks (LondonHRC, London, Canada)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Milena Naydenova (Hope, Sofia, Bulgaria)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Roxanne Baker (NAMA, Santa Cruz, United States)[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The skills session will include three advocate activists. The history of the forerunner in methadone Advocacy groups will be shared. The structure, the tools and the experience of advocates who are members and active key players in this advocacy group will be shared. What has worked will be examined.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Methodology to partner with community agencies for support, partial funding, and collaboration to promote policy change will be shared. Suggestions for ensuring the patient advocacy group’s success in reaching its goals will be proposed. Strategies for empowering methadone patients will be given.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Discussing the downfalls and the risks, the three participants will offer their experiences of observing and participating in a patient advocate group.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The process of certifying, through education, patients to become certified methadone advocates (CMA’S) will be presented. The benefits and pitfalls of advocating, often in the face of tremendous stigma and years of entrenched ideology and marginalization, will be presented and the possibilities of effectively addressing and reducing the stigma and enhancing the quality of methadone treatment are the skills the presenters most desire to see built during this session. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Documenting Human Rights Violations against Injection Drug Users: Advocacy for Health[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Tuesday May 2 13.30h-15.00h [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Karyn Kaplan (Thai Treatment Action Group, Bangkok, Thailand)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Paisan Suwannawong (Thai Drug Users’ Network, Bangkok, Thailand)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Jonathan Cohen (Open Society Institute, New York, United States)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Rebecca Schleifer (Human Rights Watch, New York, United States)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Jennifer Nagle (Human Rights Watch, New York, United States)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Joe Amon (Human Rights Watch, New York, United States)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]John Richardson (Pivot Legal Society, Vancouver, Canada)[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Issue: Human rights documentation can be a powerful tool for promoting the health of people who use drugs. However, harm reduction advocates may be deterred from doing human rights work by the perception that it requires significant legal training or expertise. Conversely, human rights advocates may be reluctant or unable to apply their knowledge to the challenges facing people who use drugs. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Description: This session will present several successful models of human rights documentation related to harm reduction and discuss ways to adapt them to local circumstances. Basic skills such as interviewing, corroborating evidence, preparing reports, and conducting advocacy with media and governments will be discussed. Participants will be provided with a basic outline of international human rights standards related to the health of people who use drugs, as well as an overview of procedures for filing reports and complaints with human rights bodies. Examples of successful human rights documentation will include the ongoing human rights documentation project of the Thai Drug Users’ Network, the Pivot Legal Society’s affidavit project, and various reports of the HIV/AIDS and Human Rights Program of Human Rights Watch.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Activism And Drug User Ethics[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Tuesday May 2 15.30h-16.50h [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Zarir Simrin (Passage, Skopje, Macedonia)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Second presenter to be confirmed[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]First part of the session will be for Drug User Organizing and how we do this here in Macedonia.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The second part of the session will be about Drug User ethics, or how to have equal social status with the general population, how to behave with other people around you, what to do if somebody gives you money for “dope” when you are in crisis. Some Drug User regulations are important for us, users, if we want to be more powerful and to have our voice heard, to be included in decision making process, whenever is talked about us etc. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]We shouldn’t be a shamed that we are using something. We should be a shame because there are still users that don’t know about HIV/AIDS, HCV and other blood born diseases, and their way of transmission, or who f… his friend because of some dope etc… [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]2. Canadian Drug User Activists: [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Involved, Organizing [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]pan-Canadian[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif] and Making Their Voices Heard[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Canadian drug user activists have had the privilege of being very involved in promoting drug user involvement in this year's international conference. For almost a year, a Drug User Advisory Group (DUAG) has been officially assisting the IHRA conference organizers by contributing their ideas about how user issues can be more fully integrated into the conference agenda. The DUAG consists of 17 drug user activists from all over Canada. It has met twice face-to-face in Vancouver, and has weekly group conference calls over telephone.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Early in their work assisting the international conference, the members of the DUAG decided that the IHRA conference created a unique opportunity for drug user organizing in Canada. Because so many Canadian user activists would be coming to in Vancouver, the DUAG seizing this opportunity to organize the first Canadian Congress for People Who Use Illegal Drugs on May 5th (the day after the[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]international conference ends).[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The DUAG has received solidarity and support from the IHRA conference organizers and others in being able to secure use of one of the main conference rooms for May 5th Canadian Congress. Due to the space limitations of this venue, it became clear that this initial Canadian Congress would need to be limited to about 80 participants. The DUAG decided that it would have to make the Congress by-invitation only for members of already existing Canadian drug user groups and people who are working for drug user rights and/or drug user harm reduction initiatives in Canada. Invitations were extended to selected individuals and enthusiastically received. The Congress will be full with drug user activists![/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The principle focus of the Canadian Congress will be the creation of the Canadian Network of People Who Use Illegal Drugs - an organization of Canadian drug user groups which is representative of the wide diversity, both geographically and socially, of people who use illegal drugs in Canada. The idea of establishing a pan-Canadian organization of drug user groups/activists has been on the agenda for several years. It is intended that this Congress will be a significant step in that direction by deciding upon an ongoing process to ensure the establishment of a pan-Canadian organization.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The Congress will be from 9am-5pm on May 5th. First on the agenda will be an historical overview of international drug user organizing by Annie Madden of AVIL - the Australian Injecting and Illegal Drug Using League. Next will be brief reports from 10 regions of Canada regarding drug user group initiatives in those areas. Then the participants will form into smaller groups to brainstorm about the role a pan-Canadian network can play, and the issues involved in establishing the network. It is intended that people will take on concrete work that is identified by the Congress that can lead us toward the formal establishing of a national Network of Drug User Groups. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]3. In the next newsletter(s)[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The International Project Uniting Drug User Activists.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]A group of International Drug User Activists (Ann, Andria, Karyn, Mauro and Stijn) is preparing a process for the development of an International Drug User Activists Network at the 2006 IHRC in Vancouver. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]This process will start next week so this is even before we meet in Vancouver. Keep an eye on your mailbox because you'll find explanations and information for the important tasks to do concerning the International Project. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]In the next newsletter we'll have more info about this and about the definitive program of the International Drug User Activists Congress on April 30 in Vancouver. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Traveling to Vancouver, chairing and presenting at the IHRC[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]The Vancouver User Advisory Group has prepared a next newsletter which will contain some information and advice about travelling to Canada and about chairing and presenting at the conference which we thought you may find useful. This newsletter will be send out some two weeks or so before the conference because it will contain good information for your travelling and so on.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]All conference Drug User Activist participants are encouraged to take part in the online Vancouver 2006 Users Forum which can be found at: [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif][/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]If you have ideas, or if you have any questions, you are encouraged to post them at the Forum.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]If you need any help using the Forum, you can email [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif][email protected][/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]If you have any questions or problems, and you want to talk to a member of the Conference User Advisory Group about these, you can telephone the User Helpine for the conference in Canada at +1 613 336 2458. [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]That’s it for now! [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Best Wishes to you all, [/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Brent Taylor (UNDUN, Ontario, Canada)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Bill Nelles (IHRA/The Alliance, BC, Canada)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Stijn Goossens (STAD/Breakline, Antwerpen, Belgium)[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Contacts Vancouver:[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif][email protected][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]+1 613 336 2458.[/FONT]

    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]contacts Stijn: [/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]+32 3 236 60 01[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif]+32 479 98 22 71 (mobile)[/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif][email protected][/FONT]
    [FONT=Arial, sans-serif][/FONT]

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