Film Release of Crackdown on Civil Society

“Crackdown on Civil Society – a film by Rights Reporter Foundation supported by AFEW International – is about civil society organisations who are being increasingly targeted by repressive governments in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The movie presents a story of oppression, resistance and survival seen through the eyes of human rights defenders. They dedicated their lives to support the human rights of some of the most stigmatized and criminalised groups in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to be able to access health services.

This film is inspired by AFEW International’s assessment “We Fight. We Hide or We Unite: coping strategies amongst resilient harm reduction organisations and community networks in the context of shrinking space for civil society in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It was carried out in the framework of the “Bridging the Gaps: health and rights of key populations” programme.

Cover of the Bridging the Gaps II Report: We Fight, We Hide or We Unite (2017)

Find the link to the film on the Crackdown on Civil Society and full report “We Fight, We Hide or We Unite”.

New video: Today’s youth, tomorrow’s key populations?

Supporting adolescents at risk of HIV in Ukraine

Tetiana is 18 years old. She has a little baby. Her husband was actively using drugs and after three years she left him. Oleksandr is 17 years old. He is a talented boxer, and started experimenting with drugs for the first time when he was 11 years old. Svitlana is 22 years old. She has six brothers and sisters who all grew up in different orphanages. Now she has two children of her own. Her husband tried to kill her with a hatchet and so she escaped from her home.


The importance of age-specific services

Services for adolescents should be specifically adjusted for their age as the scope of services for this group differs from services for adults. In Ukraine, Bridging the Gaps works to improve the access of young people using drugs to comprehensive medical, social, psychological and legal services, and ensure the protection of their human rights.

COMPASS Center – a safe haven for most at risk adolescents

Bridging the Gaps partner ICF “AIDS Foundation East-West” (AFEW-Ukraine) opened Drop-in center “Compass” at the beginning of 2014 in cooperation with NGO “Blago”. The future of the centre is at risk due to proposed funding cuts. This should not happen. This video demonstrates how crucial age-specific services offered by COMPASS really are for the lives of Tetiana, Svitlana and Oleksandr. But also for public health in general.

“Right now our country is really in a difficult situation, but this should not be an excuse to forget its most vulnerable children.” Oleksandr Mohylka, COMPASS Director.