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Asia Action on Harm Reduction

Improving the knowledge, increasing the evidence and building support for harm reduction among key policy makers in six countries - China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and India.   


A successful response to HIV and drug use is hindered by restrictive environments where rights-based approaches are undermined and people who use drugs have limited participation in social and political life, including in HIV prevention and treatment programmes.  

Community alternatives to the war on drugs: Community advocacy for harm reduction or Asia Action (2013-2016) is funded by the European Union.

Through Asia Action Alliance Linking Organisations, AIDS Care China, KHANA (Cambodia), Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI, Vietnam), Malaysian AIDS Council , Rumah Cemara (Indonesia), Alliance India, International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), Harm Reduction International (HRI) together with the Alliance secretariat in the UK and Brussels, aims to achieve three results:

  • Improved knowledge of evidence-based and rights-based approaches to HIV and drug use among national and local governments and their agencies.
  • Increased political and social support for law reform and the implementation of existing laws to improve national responses to HIV and drug use.
  • Increased evidence on effective rights-based approaches to HIV and drug use in Asia.

The partners will focus on specific areas according to the priorities in each country:

Cambodia

KHANA will improve the knowledge of the government agencies by providing evidence of the efficacy of harm reduction interventions and the crucial role that civil society can play in delivering ‘drug user-friendly’ services and mobilising drug user communities.

KHANA will promote support for evidence based drug dependency treatment instead of imprisonment for people who inject drugs ). The experiences of people who inject drugs and the impacts of the Village Safety Commune/ Sangkat Policy will be documented to demonstrate the need for policy reform or change in its interpretation. This ‘cleaning the streets’ policy aims to achieve a zero level of stealing, snatching, robbery and to eliminate the production and sale of illegal drugs.

China

AIDS Care China will improve government officials’ knowledge about the community-based treatment as well as best practice in HIV and drug use prevention and treatment.  AIDS Care China will work to increase political and social support for community-based treatment with peer-led interventions as an alternative to compulsory detox centres. To garner political support for policy change, the cost effectiveness of community-based treatment and community-based peer led interventions will be documented.

India

Alliance India will improve the knowledge of state and local level law enforcement officials and health care workers about harm reduction and rights-based treatment of people who inject drugs. Alliance India will work with local partners and people who inject drugs to engage with state-level governments and increase political support by working with state officials to develop guidelines for delivering harm reduction interventions. Best practice models of care for female injecting drug users and good practice guidelines for the delivery of a comprehensive harm reduction package of services will be developed.

Indonesia

Rumah Cemara will improve the knowledge of police about harm reduction approaches and alternatives to incarceration. The political, social support as well as monitoring for the proper implementation of National Drug Law No. 35  and Government Regulation No. 25 will be strengthened. Particular attention will be paid to documenting best practices around community based drug treatment and rehabilitation centres, and diverting people who use drugs away from prison and into such treatment.

Malaysia

MAC will improve the knowledge of the government agencies about best practice in rights-based treatment of people who inject drugs.  Standard Operation Procedures for the treatment of people who inject drugs by police and for the provision of ART for HIV-positive drug users in prisons will be developed together with the government. Champions (e.g. journalists, people who inject drugs, police officers) and a media campaign will help to increase the political and social support for rights-based treatment of people who inject drugs. Good and bad practices of harm reduction approaches will be documented.  

Vietnam

SCDI will improve knowledge of government agencies about community social volunteer teams (CSVT) and community based treatment programmes. It will increase support for an evidence-based and rights-based CSVT model. SCDI will also conduct a media campaign to increase support for community based response to drug problems. The CSVT model will be documented.

This programme builds on Community Action on Harm Reduction - the largest harm reduction service delivery programme and the Support Don’t Punish campaign.

For more information contact: Olga Golichenko, Senior Adviser on Harm Reduction Advocacy, ogolichenko@aidsalliance.org


More information about EuropeAid Cooperation Office: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm

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