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Robin Pollard Operations Coordinator Youth RISE.

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Presentation on theme: "Robin Pollard Operations Coordinator Youth RISE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Robin Pollard Operations Coordinator Youth RISE

2 Our work  Promote evidence based harm reduction interventions for young people who use drugs.  Capacity building.  Peer education.  Advocacy on the ineffectiveness of current drug policies on young people.  Mobilise, engage, and facilitate youth involvement in the drug policy reform and harm reduction advocacy.  Increase evidence to support advocacy and inform an effective response.

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4 T he need for youth harm reduction  Harm reduction works!  41% of all new HIV infections are among youth age  More likely to engage in high risk drug-using behaviour  Lack knowledge of harm reduction, safer injecting practices  Earlier, riskier sexual behaviour, unprotected sex, STD’s multiple partners  Lack of knowledge of HIV/HEP C  Poly-drug use  Socio-economic exclusion (unemployment/lack of education)  Stigma and alienation from services

5 Barriers to harm reduction services  Age restrictions.  Confidentiality/parental consent.  Lack of youth friendly services: Harm reduction services do not cater to young people’s specific needs and situations.  Untrained services providers.  Unclear laws also result in hesitation among service providers to provide young people with harm reduction services and support.  Punitive drug laws.

6 Our approach to supporting the development of youth friendly harm reduction  Context ! Youth RISE engages young people from around the world to advocate in their own country.  Capacity! Support other youth org’s through grant writing, organisation development, capacity, funding for projects.  Research! Understand the local drug scene and keep up with the changes that take place.

7 Effective youth harm reduction services  Young people are not a homogenized group.  Culturally sensitive, and always adapted to the group of young people they are serving as well as to the community.  Address multiple health and behavioural problems.  Health advice including: sexual health, basic counseling, HIV, HEP C,STI’s etc…  Ensure youth are involved in the service design, implementation and evaluation.  Include programs such as skills and vocational training

8 Barriers to youth political participation in harm reduction  Few open and active young drug user activists  Access problems  Stigma  Damage to future opportunities  Tokenism

9 What we want  Remove the barriers to services  A comprehensive range of harm reduction services (for idu and non idu)  Engaging youth both in service design and implementation  Policy makers, donors, service providers who concentrate on HIV prevention to place much greater focus on young people who use drugs.  End criminalising young people who use drugs.  Ensure that young people who use drugs are meaningfully represented in formal bodies.

10 More info!   facebook.com/youthrise  Check out some of our resources  Come talk to us!


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