Bikas works at the regional office of the Asian Network of People who Use Drugs (ANPUD) in Bangkok, Thailand. His understanding of the issues of people who use drugs comes from several years of his direct involvement in the community activism in Nepal. He has participated in various national, regional and global level platforms representing people who use drugs communities from Asia.
Ciarán has been working in the field of human rights, youth participation and drug policy for over 10 years. He is the former co-ordinator of Students for Sensible Drug Policy UK where he oversaw national and local campaigns to enhance the rights of young people. He is currently a board member with Youth Organisations for Drug Action (YODA), focusing on policy issues affecting LGBTQ youth across Europe, where he has spent time researching and advocating for LGBTQ communities and young populations.
David is a drug policy reform advocate and activist from Georgia, where he is one of the founder of Georgian grassroots advocacy group White Noise Movement, campaigning actively for decriminalisation of drug use and possession in small amounts.
Dr Fatima Assouab is a psychiatric doctor and a member of the Moroccan Association of Psychiatrists since 1989. She is currently the head of the Mental Health and Degenerative Diseases Office in the Ministry of Health in Morocco. Dr Assouab has a Master’s degree in Public Health and an MD doctorate with a national certificate of psychiatric option from the University of Hassan II. She has played a key role in inter-country meetings on legislation and human rights, and the launch of the MENAHRA project.
Isabel is a political scientist from the University de Los Andes of Colombia (2008), and holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies, with emphasis on conflict and peace building from the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, Switzerland (2015). Her research focus is on the impact of drug policies on rural development, public health, and armed conflict. She is currently the research coordinator for the Drug Policy area at the Center for the Study of Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia), and is concentrating on mapping access to controlled medicines in Colombia and advocating for the right to health for populations affected by restricted availability. She is also involved in research and advocacy on cultivators and producers of illicit plants, and the implications of the Peace Agreement for drug policies in Colombia. She is also a member of the research collective ‘Consortium of drugs and the law’.
Michael Ninburg is President of the World Hepatitis Alliance and Executive Director of the Hepatitis Education Project (HEP), a U.S.-based NGO dedicated to supporting hepatitis patients. At HEP, Michael works with patients, policymakers and clinicians and provides direct services and advocacy for underserved and marginalized populations, including prisoners, people who use drugs (PWUD) and people who are homeless or unstably housed. As a former hepatitis C patient and someone who used drugs for many years, Michael brings important lived experience to his work and a personal focus on the intersection of drug use, criminal justice and public health.
Penelope Hill is a representative of Harm Reduction Australia, Harm Reduction Victoria, YouthRise and Students for Sensible Drug Policy Australia. She currently works within drop-in and mobile NSP programs in Melbourne, Australia. Penelope holds a Masters of Public Health and is currently studying a Masters of International and Community Development.
Ricky Gunawan is a human rights lawyer and the Director of LBH Masyarakat, Indonesia. LBH Masyarakat provides free legal services for people who use drugs, advocates for drug policy reform, and assists people facing the death penalty/execution (including drug offenders). Ricky leads LBH Masyarakat pioneering legal empowerment movement which now has been adopted by a number of drug users/harm reduction organizations in Indonesia. He has been at the forefront of drug policy reform movement in Indonesia. He litigates on behalf of people who use drugs to access treatment, trains drug users to be community paralegals, regularly writes and provides analysis on the issue of drug laws/policies, and helps elevate the community’s voice to international fora. He holds MA in Theory and Practice of Human Rights, from the University of Essex, UK.
Ruth Birgin, currently Women’s Policy Officer, INPUD. Ruth has worked as a harm reduction specialist for over twenty years, internationally since 2002. She has worked on harm reduction project design and technical oversight, advocacy, capacity building and promotion of meaningful involvement of people who use drugs. Ruth has experience working with a range of UN and other organisations (including IDPC). Ruth has extensive experience working at the international level as well as in Australia, Asia and E Africa.
Scott Bernstein is lawyer in Vancouver, Canada, and a Senior Policy Analyst with the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, where he leads the organization’s work on legal regulation of drugs and collaborates on CDPC’s national dialogue process and advocacy around drug policy reform. Prior to joining CDPC, Scott was a program officer with the Global Drug Policy Program of Open Society Foundations in New York. There, he supported collaboration within a global reform movement targeted at the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session through grant-making, policy expertise and strategic planning, as well as supporting a nascent drug policy reform movement in Africa. Scott has a MS in environmental studies from the University of Wisconsin and a JD from the University of British Columbia.
Shaun is the is the Policy, Advocacy and Human Rights Manager for TB/HIV Care in South Africa. In addition, he developed the annual SA Drug Policy Week, sits on the Department of Health and Central Drug Authority advisory groups, and holds affiliations at the Universities of Cape Town and Pretoria.
Kathryn has extensive experience in health and criminal justice, including the early development of UK prison drug treatment, and community criminal justice based interventions. She has co-authored a number of programmes and practice guides including those for HM Prison Service (UK) and Best Practice Guide to providing Drug Services in Prison (UNODC). She has been a social work and business studies lecturer and a consultant and trainer for EU and UNODC programmes across Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Kathryn was appointed Chief Executive of CareNZ in 2013.
Sofia Galinaki works as an ‘Advocacy Officer’ at “DIOGENIS” Drug Policy Dialogue. In this context, she is responsible, among others, for the research project "Harm reduction in South East Europe". In addition Sofia coordinates the Greek NGO Platform for psychoactive substances in Greece, which currently consists of 6 non-governmental organisations actively working in the field of drugs and drug policy and has established strong contacts with all the member organisations of the Drug Policy Network South East Europe (DPNSEE).
Valentin Simionov is the executive director of the Romanian Harm Reduction Network. He entered the harm reduction field in 2004, as an outreach worker. He studied philosophy and social work. Starting in March 2014, he has been part of the IDPC Board and the Members’ Advisory Council.
Pedro Arenas - Representative of farmers of crops deemed illicit (Observatorio de cultivos y cultivadores declarados ilícitos)
Pedro Arenas is the director of OCDI and a Transnational Institute (TNI) Fellow. He was the Mayor of San José del Guaviare until 2011 and a member of Congress between 2002 and 2006, when he tabled a legislative bill on the regulation of coca in Colombia, produced with the communities of the Cauca valley.