Solo en Moscú, se cuentan más de 30.000 personas que usan drogas a las que, según denuncian activistas, se les suelen negar sus derechos. Más información, en inglés, está disponible abajo.
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Russia is home to 69% of all people living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and its HIV epidemic is concentrated among people who inject drugs. In Moscow alone there were more than 30,000 people who use drugs registered with the drug treatment specialists in public clinics in 2013, and the total number of people who use drugs in the city is likely to be higher.
In addition to being at highest risk of HIV in Russia, people who inject drugs are among the most marginalized and stigmatized populations in the country. Criminalization of drug use, quota-based law enforcement and low availability of opioid substitution therapy are major barriers to harm reduction.
Activists in Moscow allege that people who use drugs are frequently denied their rights. An initiative by the Andrey Rylkov Foundation (ARF), a non-governmental organization working in Moscow since 2009, is providing legal support to people who use drugs and seeking justice through the legal system. In late 2013, the Foundation’s Harm Reduction – Moscow Project with support of the Canadian AIDS Legal Network launched a ‘street lawyer’ initiative, which links those who need legal aid with a social workers and a legal advisers. Services include rights counselling, mediation, filing of official requests or complaints to medical practitioners or government offices, and resolution of cases through the justice system. In addition to legal support, the project gives clients moral support and boosts confidence in their ability to access legal recourse. The Foundation also provides expert witness testimony in court and advocates for changes to Russia’s drug policy.
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