23 May 2017 - Under the Doha Declaration Global Programme, UNODC promotes sport as a critical tool to prevent youth crime. Through a life skills training programme, the initiative - Line Up Live Up - works with at-risk youth to build resilience to violence, crime and drug use. At this year's Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), UNODC demonstrated some of the life skills exercises on a specially constructed pitch in the UN Plaza - a location not generally known as the setting for a football match! Working with partners including the FIFA Grassroots Programme, the NGO Grassroot Soccer South Africa, and the First Vienna Football Club youth team, attendees to the CCPCJ were shown the exact exercises employed to help youth aged 13-17 gain the necessary skills and mind-set to be able to resist anti-social behaviours.
Ahead of blowing the ceremonial whistle to officially start the football match, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov highlighted the role of sport as a tool for to promote peace, tolerance and respect. "Sports inspire. They drive us to excellence, help us work together and teach us fair play," he noted. "Sports activities also present an opportunity to empower young people, and help them to live safely and be healthy."
As the main donor of the Doha Declaration Global Programme, Qatar's Major General Dr. Abdullah Yusuf Al Mal, Advisor to Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar, was also on hand to witness some of the skills exercises being rolled out. "The importance of the Doha Declaration Global Programme is that it provides an effective tool and a practical exercise on the role of sports in the protection of young people, especially from marginalized groups in society who are most at risk of crime and drugs," he noted, before tapping the football into play for the youth to begin.
The curriculum is currently being piloted in Brazil before being rolled out to other countries in the region, as well as in Southern Africa, West Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East and North Africa.