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COVID-19 and Illicit Markets

The potential impact of COVID-19 on economic markets is well known and widely discussed. But what about the markets we know less about, namely illicit markets? Drug markets, policymakers and people who use drugs are facing an unprecedented situation. Join this discussion – a blend of on-the-ground narratives and broader policy perspectives – to hear how we might best respond.

Naomi Burke-Shyne (@NaomiSBS) is the Executive Director of Harm Reduction International. She has more than 10 years of international experience at the intersection of harm reduction, HIV and human rights. She is a member of the Strategic Advisory Group to the UN on HIV and Drug Use, a member of the Global Fund Technical Review Panel for Human Rights and Gender, and a member of the World Health Organization Guidelines Group on ‘Ensuring Balance in National Policies on Controlled Substances’.

Jason Eligh (@JasonEligh) is a Senior Expert at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. He is an illicit drug market and policy analyst who has researched, developed and led technical cooperation and assistance initiatives addressing illicit drugs across African and Asian geographies. His current work focuses on understanding the contexts and characteristics influencing drug use behaviours and the structural resilience of drug trade environments, particularly as these factors relate to the development and sustainability of harm.

Gabriel Feltran is a professor in the Department of Sociology at the Federal University of São Carlos in Brazil, and currently Senior Researcher at the Brazilian Centre for Planning and Analysis (CEBRAP). His current research looks at criminal groups and illegal markets in Brazil, focussing on collective action, marginalized groups and “the criminal world” in São Paulo.

Kasia Malinowska (@OSFKasia) is the director of the Global Drug Policy Program at the Open Society Foundations. She previously led the Open Society’s International Harm Reduction Development program, which supports the health and human rights of people who use drugs. She publishes regularly on drug policy as it relates to women, social justice, health, human rights, civil society, and governance, and she co-authored Poland’s first National AIDS program and has helped formulate policy in international organisations.

Alexander Söderholm (@AlexSoderholm)  is the Policy Coordinator of the LSE International Drug Policy Unit (IDPU), and the Managing Editor of the Journal of Illicit Economies and Development. He is currently a PhD Candidate in Social Policy at the LSE with a research project titled ‘Drugs, Livelihoods, and Development: The Role of Illicit Markets in Determining Development Outcomes’. He has also worked with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Iran and has conducted research and policy work in a number of countries, such as Thailand, Myanmar, South Africa, Colombia, and Brazil, on issues related to illicit markets and sustainable development.

John Collins (@JCollinsIDPU) is Executive Director of the LSE’s International Drug Policy Unit (IDPU), a Fellow of the LSE US Centre and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the Yale Centre for the Study of Globalization. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Illicit Economies and Development (JIED), an Open Access journal published by LSE Press.

The event is finished.


Jun 02 2020


2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Jun 02 2020
  • Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am



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