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Archive for June, 2016


Global Action Day -Sunday June 26th

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“Support. Don’t Punish” event in Mombasa on June 26 call for an alternative approach to drugs.

 

 

Kenya –like most Countries has a long tradition of punitive drug policy responses that seek to eradicate drug use and trade. This is in keeping with the prohibitionist approach that has been dominant across the world for more than 100 years, despite overwhelming evidence that this approach contributes to high levels of HIV.

Over the last decade, drug use has increased in magnitude, transcending all social strata and threatening to undermine the social, economic and political gains made. Due to its magnitude and negative impacts, drug use can no longer be ignored in national development especially in the attainment of the Kenya Vision 2030 as well as the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) particularly Goal 3 which aims at ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages. Major progress has been made on the spread of HIV/AIDS. However, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate and address many different persistent and emerging health issues related to HIV/AIDS.

The drug abuse situation in Kenya is further compounded by the fact that is situated in a region which is highly vulnerable to drug trafficking and abuse with various adverse health and social consequences. Drug use therefore needs to be tackled urgently and holistically and an environment created for wide stakeholder participation in prevention, treatment and harm reduction.

From the UNGASS 2016, there were calls to move towards a rights and health approach to resolving and reducing drug – related harm. On 26 June ,2016 Reachout Centre Trust in partnership with Mombasa County Government, Kenya Harm Reduction Network , Anyone’s Child, community members, beneficiaries, drug policy activists and religious leaders will join event in Mombasa Treasury Square to show solidarity with families who have lost their loved ones and support for the global action day “ Support. Don’t Punish” – {Saidia Usiadhibu} in Swahili translation, Campaign.

 

Mombasa Event

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM June 2016: Support Don’t Punish Football tournament between Law enforcers and Community of People Who Use Drugs

4:30 PM 26 June 2016: A procession starting from Treasury Square to Kibokoni Off Road.

5:30 PM 26 June 2016: Speeches by the invited guests and families( Guests include : Mombasa Governor, Chief Magistrate, Cabinet Minister of Health)

6:30 PM 26 June 2016: Breaking the Fast

6:45 PM 26 June 2016: Prayers and Night Vigil in memory of those who have lost their lives as a result of war on drugs.

7:00 PM 26 June 2016: Iftar

 

Background       

Hundreds of supporters are expected to turn out in large number for a peaceful procession on Sunday 26 June 2016 in Mombasa County and a prayer and night vigil at Kibokoni Road to show their commitment to the global Support Don’t Punish campaign.

The Support Don’t Punish Global Day of Action takes place barely two months after the international community met at the UNGASS 2016, the biggest United Nations meeting on drugs in almost two decades. The global gathering laid bare the fault lines beneath the international agreements on drug policy, with dozens of countries, international bodies and NGOs http://theinfluence.org/from-kenya-one-human-story-among-millions-shaming-the-worldwide-war-on-drugs/  http://cndblog.org/2016/04/side-event-how-can-the-international-drug-control-system-provide-a-better-tomorrow-for-the-worlds-youth/, http://reachout.or.ke/?p=499

The campaign aims to reclaim this date from the perspective of activists and victims of punitive drug policies, underscoring their catastrophic consequences and high cost and also calls for enactment of the Principles of Modern Drug Policy (2012) which recognizes that drug policies should be balanced, compassionate, and humane. Rather, drug laws collide with fundamental human rights and freedoms enshrined in the UN human rights conventions, the Kenya constitution, the African Union charter, and Kenya’s 2006 HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act.

“Ann Fordham, Executive Director of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) which oversees the global campaign, said “International drug policies are supposed to pursue the health and welfare of humankind, but the current regime has shown it is incapable of achieving these goals. Instead, there is growing recognition that repressive policies are causing more damage than the drugs they are supposed to eradicate. This year’s Global Day of Action will see the biggest international demonstration against the war on drugs, with thousands of activists in over 90 countries stressing the urgency of finding alternatives. How long will governments keep ignoring these deafening calls?”

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

The “Support. Don’t Punish” campaign is a global initiative calling for investments in proven effective and cost-effective harm reduction responses for people who use drugs, and for the decriminalization of people who use drugs, and the removal of other laws that impede public health services. The campaign was launched in 2013 – as an initiative of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), Harm Reduction International (HRI), and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. On 26th June 2013, 41 cities participated in the Global Day of Action. On 26th June 2014, events were held in 100 cities, and in 2015, activists in 160 cities joined forces to call for drug policy reform, with street performances, street art, protests, music events, football tournaments, processions, and even a boat show in the Nile!

For more information and resources about the campaign, visitwww.supportdontpunish.org and http://supportdontpunish.org/day-of-action-2016/

Contact: info@reachout.or.ke/lugard.abila@reachout.or.ke