Overcoming Stigma and Violence Against Incarcerated and Drug-using Women

Overcoming Stigma and Violence against Incarcerated and Drug-using Women

Organised by Dianova International, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and the Women and Harm Reduction International Network (WHRIN)

Women who use drugs, and women incarcerated and formerly incarcerated for drug offences, face high levels of stigma, discrimination and violence, as they are seen as defying their assigned roles in society as mothers and caregivers. Women who use drugs face daunting barriers in accessing harm reduction and treatment services, and gender-sensitive programmes remain an exception rather than the norm. As a result, they are at higher risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis C, especially while incarcerated. Formerly incarcerated women face significant obstacles in rebuilding their lives. From the time of their arrest until their release, women’s – especially trans women’s – journey through the criminal legal system is marked by experiences of systemic violence, discrimination and trauma. This side event will discuss the most pressing issues faced by women who use drugs and incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women, with accounts of lived experiences from the USA and Mexico.


  • Mary Chinery-Hesse, West Africa Commission on Drugs, IDPC representative in Ghana & Former Deputy-General of the International Labour Organisation – Opening remarks
  • Ruth Birgin, Women and Harm Reduction International Network
  • Gisela Hansen Rodríguez, Dianova International
  • Andrea James, National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls
  • Kenya Cuevas, Casa de las Muñecas Tiresias A.C. & Casa Hogar “Paola Buenrostro”

Moderator: Marie Nougier, International Drug Policy Consortium

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtags: #EndTheStigmaCSW65 #EndTheViolenceCSW65 #EndTheStigma #EndTheViolence


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the New York NGO Committee on Drugs, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-NY, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Vienna, please visit

Adverse Childhood Events: Protecting, Preventing, and Healing

The NGO Committee on the Family New York invites you to attend “Adverse Childhood Events: Protecting, Preventing, and Healing” on Thursday, February 25th, 1pm-2pm EST.

Concept note/background info:

Families around the world strive to provide children with a safe and nurturing home environment to empower their children to thrive. However, many families experience unexpected difficulties and trauma that can negatively influence this home environment. Parents, families, and communities can work to prevent, protect, and heal from these adverse events.

Speakers will present insights from their practical experiences working with parents and families to promote a healthy environment for children to thrive.

Prevent and ProtectSilvia Mazzarelli, Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) and Arigatou International will look specifically at how parents can keep children safe online and prevent any access to harmful material and persons.

Heal – In the unfortunate event of early childhood trauma, Dr. Amanda Costello from the University of Delaware will discuss the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) home-visiting parenting program that was developed by Dr. Mary Dozier. This evidence-based program helps caregivers to develop strong relationships with their children through positive feedback on parenting strategies. The program is currently offered in 19 US states and 8 countries.

Following this, there will be an opportunity for questions.

Please RSVP by Feb. 24th at 6pm EST to attend at


CoNGO Notes: For more information on the NGO Committee on the Family-NY, please visit For more information on the NGO Committee on Children’s Rights-NY, please visit