The Greek NGO Platform for Psychoactive substances calls on public authorities to ensure civil society engagement in drug policy


The Greek NGO Platform for Psychoactive substances calls on public authorities to ensure civil society engagement in drug policy

24 May 2018

PRESS RELEASE - 08/05/2018

Petition of the greek «ngo platform for psychoactive substances» To appointed executive authorities for the accredited inclusion of civil society In the national planning and coordinating commission on addressing drugs

On Friday, April the 13th, member-organizations of the «NGO PLATFORM for psychoactive substances» filed a petition that was followed by a related memorandum to the Minister of Health, Mr. A. Xantho. The appeal stressed the importance for a robust, fair, substantial, accredited and legally established participation of the civil society, including members of the community of people who used drugs, in the process of planning, implementing and evaluating the national drug policy. The foregoing practice is not always deemed obvious or essential. Despite the multitude of relevant European and international recommendations and directives advising and promoting the aforementioned participation, this is not laid down under the national law in force (Article 50 of Act 4139/2013). In addition, [the right for] community inclusion is prescribed by international conventions, the Constitution of Greece in its human rights provisions and the Hellenic Charter of rights for people with substance dependence. The last was drafted under the auspices of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights.

Given our long-standing experience, the high level of our expertise and our comprehensive engagement in the fields of drug policy and psychoactive substances, we the civil society organisations petition the Minister of Health to recommend to the appointed executive authorities an amendment to the provision of the Article 50 § 1 of the Law 4139/2013. Therein lies our wish to participate in the work-process of national drug policy-making within the national planning and coordinating commission with one (1) regular member of the «NGO Platform for psychoactive substances» and one (1) alternate.

The petition and the memorandum were communicated to: the Minister for Transparency and Human Rights, Mr. Stavros Kontonis; the National Drug Coordinator, Ms. Christina Papoutsopoulou-Diamantopoulou; the Secretary General for Public Health, Mr. Ioannis Mpaskozo; the Deputy Secretary General of the Ministry of Health, Mr. Stamatis Vardaros; the General Secretary of Transparency and Human Rights, Ms. Maria Giannakaki; and the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Social Affairs of the Greek Parliament, Mr. Emmanuel-Nikolaos Manio.

The Greek “NGO PLATFORM FOR PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES” consists of the following organizations: “CENTRE FOR LIFE for the support of people living with HIV/AIDS”, “DIOGENIS Drug Policy Dialogue”, “PeNUPS-Peer Network of Users of Psychoactive Substances”, “POSITIVE VOICE-Association of people living with HIV in Greece”, “PRAKSIS”, “PROMETHEUS- Hellenic Liver Patient Association”, and “STEPS”