Policy Reform & Advocacy

Skoun works to protect and promote the rights of people who use drugs. As such, we focus on increasing the public’s awareness on how to claim their rights and contribute to reforming policies and laws that affect their lives in Lebanon.

Over the last two decades Skoun has initiated and contributed to major successful advocacy efforts:

  • Legalization of the Opiates Agonist Therapy in Lebanon: In 2011, subsequent to years of advocacy by Skoun and fellow harm reduction organizations and activists, OAT was legalized in Lebanon. It continues to be a life changing treatment to hundreds of individuals to date.
  • Activation of the Drug Addiction Committee: In 2013, the Drug Addiction Committee, in charge of  implementing the right to treatment as an alternative to prosecution, was activated by the Ministry of Justice, allowing thousands of people to access health services instead of being sentenced by a court of law.
  • Safe Overdose Admissions: In 2016 and 2019, the Ministry Of Public Health and the Ministry of Interior issued circulars that ask all hospitals to refrain from calling the police when receiving overdose cases and drug- related emergencies in the aim of safeguarding the lives of people who use drugs.
  • Draft for amendments of the Lebanese Law on Drugs: Submitted to the Parliament in 2017 and now under review by the Parliamentary Committee for Human Rights.
  • Public Prosecutor Circular: Issued in 2018, this circular prohibits public prosecutors from detaining people who use drugs after their interrogation. It reminds them to immediately refer them to treatment instead of prosecuting them.

Legal Aid

If you are being investigated, arrested or tried for substance use, Skoun can help by:

  • Reminding you of your rights.
  • Drafting a release request if you’re being detained.
  • Drafting a request for referral to the Drug Addiction Committee for treatment if you’ve been charged with substance use.
  • Providing you with a treatment program and coordinating with the Drug Addiction Committee to ensure your criminal record is free of drug use charges.

Legal Aid

If you are being investigated, arrested or tried for substance use, Skoun can help by:

  • Reminding you of your rights.
  • Drafting a release request if you’re being detained.
  • Drafting a request for referral to the Drug Addiction Committee for treatment if you’ve been charged with substance use.
  • Providing you with a treatment program and coordinating with the Drug Addiction Committee to ensure your criminal record is free of drug use charges.

Capacity Building

The department provides two types of trainings and workshops to spread knowledge about the legal rights of people who use drugs and engage participants in constructive conversations:

1. Know Your Rights:

Aimed at informing people of their rights and empowering them to demand their implementation when arrested or prosecuted for substance use.

2. Professionals’ Trainings:

These trainings equip health, social and judicial professionals with the knowledge and tools to ensure better practices towards people who use drugs.

Reach Out

If you have inquiries about drug use arrest cases, you can contact us on

70 248 054

If you would like to learn more about our training programs, you contact us on

legaladvice@skoun.org

For Useful Resources

Our centers are open to everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, nationality, mental or physical disability, political belief or affiliation, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

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