HCLU uses Strategic Litigation as a tool in Needle Exchange Advocacy Fight
HCLU’s aim with the action is to address a legal statement of the Hungarian Chief Prosecutor’s Office. In the critized statement, the Office declared „any kind of activity, related to illegual drug use” as a relevant reason to start a criminal procedure. This time it is not the Police, but the other main law enforcement agency, the Prosecutor’s Office is the one that sees Needle Exchange Programs as a possible criminal investigations’ targets. The Budapest Police Headquarter actually has a valid agreement with Budapest NEP providers not to harras needle exchange services and clients. But when the service providers aimed to develop that agreement to a nationwide-one, the Chief Prosecutor of Hungary raised its voice against the agreement with the legal statement above.
HCLU uses Strategic Litigation in this case to make it clear: is a social worker who carries sterile and used syringes while working for a NEP is a criminal, or someone who should be supported for his valuable harm reduction services? Hungary’s official National Drug Strategy - together with the relevant international organizations - states the later option, but the country’s Chief Persecutor seems to go with the first one.
Executive Director HCLU