Robin Pollard firstname.lastname@example.org Operations Coordinator Youth RISE
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.
T he need for youth harm reduction Harm reduction works! 41% of all new HIV infections are among youth age 15-24 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
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.
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.
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
Barriers to youth political participation in harm reduction Few open and active young drug user activists Access problems Stigma Damage to future opportunities Tokenism
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.
More info! www.youthrise.org @youthrise facebook.com/youthrise Check out some of our resources Come talk to us!