Although the drug strategy adopted by the Hungarian government in 2013 aimed to make the country drug-free by 2020, the (not so) new synthetic drugs still rule the country. After the municipal elections, there is some hope that harm reduction can return to Budapest.
Our report, based on the findings of research conducted among the clients of closed needle and syringe programs in Budapest and Belgrade, sheds light on the dire consequences of declining support for harm reduction in Central Eastern Europe.
Levente Moro is a well-known member of the European psychedelic community. He earned his PhD in 2017 at the University of Turku, on the subject of hallucinatory altered states of consciousness. In 2012 he started PsyHelp, an organisation by partiers, for partiers, to make psytrance and Goa concerts and festivals safer. Read the interview made by our intern, Jonathan Brozdowski!
This film – produced by the Rights Reporter Foundation, supported by AFEW International – features activists and civil society organisations who are being increasingly targeted by repressive governments in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The movie presents a story of oppression, resistance and survival seen through the eyes of human rights defenders. They dedicated their lives to support the human rights of some of the most stigmatized and criminalised groups in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to be able to access health services.
Although Roma people now compose the majority of the clients of many harm reduction services in many countries from the Baltic to the Balkans, racial justice as an issue is very rarely addressed by the harm reduction community in the region.
While the Hungarian politicians, similarly to other populist forces in Europe, falsely claim that migrants brings disease, they ignore the evidence about what really works in stopping disease.
Can we still call this a democracy if we criminalise people for being poor?
The main problem with drug prevention is the same as it is with sex education: it ignores the elephant in the room that is pleasure.
An online study – conducted by Drugreporter – of more than 1100 Hungarian students revealed that there are serious problems with drug prevention in schools. It is provided mostly by police officers with outdated methods, focuses on scare tactics, and does not include much interaction with students.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights called civil society organisations to contribute to its report on the implementation of the UNGASS Outcome Document, adopted in New York in 2016. We have sent a submission about how closing down harm reduction services violated human rights in Hungary – read it below!