The Open Society Foundations (OSF) request information from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) about initiatives where they have worked with the police to improve the health and human rights of sex workers and/or drug users. We are looking for projects located in low and middle income countries (http://chartsbin.com/view/2438). Representatives from eight model projects will be invited to participate in a seminar in Sydney, Australia in November 2012, and will be profiled in an international publication. This meeting will also seek to foster the development of a “community of practice” for information exchange and advocacy on NGO-police collaboration to improve the health and rights of these groups.

OSF is looking for projects that use a human rights-based approach, are driven by or involve meaningful engagement of sex workers and drug users themselves, engage cooperatively with law enforcement, and demonstrate positive impacts on police attitudes and practices or law enforcement policy. Possible areas of work may include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing and implementing tools for training police;
  • Designing methods to ensure access to services while in police custody;
  • Working with police to develop and implement tools for monitoring police abuse (physical, sexual, psychological) of criminalized groups;
  • Cultivating teams of supportive police and building their capacity as advocates, peer trainers within the police force, and resource persons for sex worker and drug user groups;
  • Negotiating access to police protection when sex workers or drug users are victims of crime, including when they are victims of police abuse; or
  • Developing official laws, guidelines, or policies for police conduct toward criminalized groups.

Submissions must be written, audiotaped or videotaped in English and sent to Anna-Louise Crago at annalouisecrago@gmail.com by 5:00 PM (EST) on Friday, August 3.  Shortlisted projects will be interviewed over the phone.  All submissions must contain the following information:

  • Contact person
  • Country
  • Organization or group name
  • Position in the organization
  • Contact information (e-mail and telephone)
  • Description of the intervention in no more than 1,000 words, including the following points:
  1. When and where was it started?
  2. Why was it started? What problem was it designed to address?
  3. Who were the key organizations or individuals that helped start and operate this project?
  4. What resources were used to support this work?
  5. Is there someone in the police organization you worked with who could discuss the project from his or her perspective?
  6. What has changed in the lives of drug users or sex workers as a result of the project? Please be as specific as possible.
  7. Was there formal collaboration between the police and sex workers or drug users?  If so, please describe the arrangement that was agreed to.
  8. What challenges has this project faced, and how have they been overcome? 
  9. Were there any negative consequences from the project? For example, did your staff or clients experience any threats or abuse by police for engaging in these activities?
  10. Did you try any approaches that didn’t work?  If so, what were they and why do you think they failed?
  11. What is the future of this project?
  12. What non-financial resources would help strengthen your work with police?  
  13. Does anyone who could represent the project speak English fluently?

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