Strong advocacy in Ukraine leads to inclusion of key populations in the Country Coordinating Mechanism

Strong advocacy in Ukraine leads to inclusion of key populations in the Country Coordinating Mechanism

On 13 December 2018, the Ukrainian Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) has signed critical documents that include key populations and prisoners into regional CCM structures across the country.

In addition, two CCM Decriminalisation working groups are mentioned in the documents. The working groups were formed thanks to the strong advocacy efforts of the leaders of drug users’ and sex workers’ communities. Both working groups will be making decisions on the Cabinet of Ministers’ level and will be developing legal acts to decriminalise sex workers and people who use drugs.

According to Anton Basenko, PITCH Country Focal Person in Ukraine: “The creation of these two working groups is a real New Year’s gift for key populations. The CCM Decriminalisation Working Groups is a preliminary name. In order to ensure continuous participation and commitment of all stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies, and to avoid misleading public discussions around ‘legalisation of drugs’, we would rather name it a Working Group on Legal Barriers for PWUD to Access HIV and TB Treatment. In so doing, we build the foundation for removing other legal barriers as well.”

As a next step, civil society organisations are now preparing a position paper and working on the further composition of both working groups.

 

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