Concluding Observations: Ukraine (CRC/C/UKR/CO/4)

60. The Committee is deeply concerned at the increasing practice of drug injection among children, affecting in particular children in prison, children left behind by migrating parents and children in street situations, and that drug use constitutes a main reason for HIV infection. It is deeply concerned at the lack of specialized youth-friendly services aimed at treatment and rehabilitation for these at-risk children, and that legal and attitudinal barriers impede access to such services…
  • Harm reduction

 61. The Committee recommends that the State party, in partnership with non-governmental organizations, develop a comprehensive strategy for addressing the alarming situation of drug abuse among children and youth and undertake a broad range of evidence-based measures in line with the Convention, and that it:

(a) Develop specialized and youth-friendly drug-dependence treatment and harm – reduction services for children and young people , building on recent legislative progress on HIV/AIDS and the successful pilot programmes for most- at-risk adolescents initiated by UNICEF;

(b) Ensure that criminal laws do not impede access to such services , including by amending laws that criminalize children for possession or use of drugs ;

(c) Ensure that health and law enforcement personnel working with at-risk children are appropriately trained in HIV prevention and that abuses by law enforcement against at-risk children are investigated and punished;

  • Harm reduction
  • Civil society engagement
  • Alternatives to punishment

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See also articles 33 (drugs) and 24 (health) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Concluding Observations on Ukraine remain some of the strongest of the Committee to date on harm reduction. Various other concluding observations of the CRC Cttee have, however, recommended harm reduction alongside prevention and treatment.

- Austria, CRC/C/AUT/CO/3-4, para 51
- Albania, CRC/C/ALB/CO/2-4, para 63(b)
- Guinea, CRC/C/GIN/CO/2, para 68
- Guyana, CRC/C/GUY/CO/2-4, para, 50(d)

  • Harm reduction