Crime prevention through sports

As part of its efforts to support the implementation of the Doha Declaration, UNODC has launched a global youth crime prevention initiative that builds on the power of sports as a tool for peace. The initiative aims to promote sports and related activities to prevent crime and to effectively build resilience of at-risk youth. Strengthening the life skills of youth is a key objective in order to minimize risk factors and maximize protective factors related to crime, violence and drug use. By enhancing knowledge of the consequences of crime and substance abuse and developing life skills, the initiative seeks to positively influence behaviour and attitudes of at-risk youth and prevent anti-social and risky behaviour.

Sports for development and crime prevention

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underlines the growing contribution of sports as a tool for peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect. It also highlights the contributions that sport can make to the empowerment of communities as a whole, to individuals (particularly women and young people) as well as to health, education and social inclusion.

More specifically, sports offer an important opportunity for building life skills of at-risk youth that allow them to better cope with daily life challenges and move away from involvement in violence, crime or drug use.

Youth as agents of change

Through partnerships with Governments, sports organizations and civil society, UNODC will conduct national and regional youth-oriented awareness raising sports initiatives to further promote civic values and disseminate the benefits of sport in keeping youth from becoming involved in crime and violence.

Youth will be placed at the centre of outreach activities as agents for change. By sharing their experiences on how sports and life skills training helped them to stay away from crime, youth will engage and reach out to other at-risk youth.

Line Up Live Up

Line Up Live Up - UNODC's evidence-informed and sports-based life skills training curriculum - has been designed as a unique tool that transfers the accumulated expertise of the United Nations and other partners in implementing life skills training for crime and drug use prevention to sport settings. 

Through the Line Up Live Up programme, sports coaches, teachers and others working with youth in sports settings can target valuable life skills, such as resisting social pressures to engage in delinquency, coping with anxiety and communicating effectively with peers, through a set of interactive and fun exercises.

The training programme has been first tested and piloted in Brazil in 2017 and will be implemented in a number of countries across the world, including those in Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and South America. 

Download the publications


“We truly believe we can make a change,” Marco Teixeira tells MTV

"We truly believe we can make a change," Marco Teixeira tells MTV

Last week, the head of UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, Marco Teixeira, was interviewed by MTV (one of the most prominent regional channels in Lebanon and the Arab world), on its renowned MTV Alive show. He spoke about the Global Programme's mission to promote a culture of lawfulness, through the various activities and resources of its four components. Below are some excerpts from the interview (edited for clarity).

Line up to live up; how sports can help prevent violent extremism in youth

Line up to live up; how sports can help prevent violent extremism in youth

Engaging young people in disenfranchised areas and addressing their needs has become a matter of utmost importance and an integral part of the global struggle to prevent violent extremism (PVE). Using educational, vocational, cultural and physical activities, Governments, NGOs and civil society groups are trying to empower them with the life skills and values which can prevent their descent into a life of violent extremism and crime, and give them a positive outlook on their future.

Reflecting on the growing importance of this approach, UNODC and UNESCO jointly convened an expert group meeting in Vienna this week, to share with various practitioners experiences on recent and ongoing initiatives, to review key findings, and to generate recommendations on the use of sports in the prevention of violent extremism. 


Off Street, On Sport • CHOOSE SPORT • S2E6

#ChooseSport movement advocates for the power of sport to uplift lives and communities, and to build a more peaceful world.

Ride the Waves of Change • CHOOSE SPORT • S2E5

#ChooseSport movement advocates for the power of sport to uplift lives and communities, and to build a more peaceful world.