International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking – Georgia Red Cross

Georgia Red Cross Society as a member of the ERNA and the Georgian Harm Reduction Network is organizing and actively participating in events dedicated to the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June every year. This year due to the COVID-19 the most activities were online.

This year due to the restrictions attached to COVID19  on 26-27 June, 2020 instead of usually conducted face to face IE-seminars we organized online sessions “COVID19 and Harm reduction” for the GRCS 64 volunteers from HQs and local branches and disseminate through social media flyers with respective key messages.

At country level the GRCS is actively promoting Rome Consensus 2.0. First this Year in April, GRCS circulated message regarding the Rome Consensus 2.0 among the key stakeholders through the Georgian Healthcare Advocacy Coalition, PSS platform and Georgian Harm Reduction Network with request to sign the manifest. And later in June 2020 the GRCS H&C Team promoted Rome Consensus again regarding 26 June. It was a pleasure to receive positive feedbacks from the partner organizations working in the field again. And again we got dramatically positive feedback and gathered high number of new signatories of Rome Consensus 2.0.  Namely GRCS was thanked by the partners for popularization of the Rome Consensus humanitarian approach to the drug related problems and for active participation in the advocacy work carried out at the country level.

On 25 June 2020, the GRCS H&C Team participated in the webinar – “Support Don’t Punish” towards Humanitarian Drug Policy during the COVID 19 crisis”. The event was focused on importance of Strong Advocacy for Humanitarian Drug Policy during COVID 19 Pandemics and what does this mean for the Red Cross Red Crescent and other partners.

On 26 June 2020 the GRCS H&C Team was invited to participate in the online Conference: “Drug policy based on Human Rights and Health”. The conference was very interesting and valuable from different points of view. It was the event, where the key stakeholders – Governmental and Non-governmental (Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Health, representative of Georgian Parliament and different ministries, NGO and NSAs) have been gathered to discuss challenges existing in the country related to the Topic. During the conference very active and interesting discussions took place. It is worthy to be mentioning that special attention was paid to the Rome Consensus 2.0. The document was presented by one of the key community based organization and  it was mentioned that it is not only document promoting humanitarian drug policy but it is one with clear plan of action/ tools/necessary steps for effective advocacy of transformation of current strict to humanitarian Drug Policies. For the GRCS the conference was especially valuable and important, as the NS was publicly acknowledged as an active actor working based on principles of humanity.

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