Adopted at the conclusion of the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Doha Declaration highlights the importance of education as a tool to preventing crime and corruption. It emphasizes that education for children and youth is fundamental in promoting a culture that supports the rule of law, crime prevention and criminal justice.
In support of this, the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative - under the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration - has been developed to create and disseminate education materials in UNODC mandated areas of crime prevention and criminal justice across the primary, secondary and tertiary education levels. Online tools and academic resources will be made available free of charge, while workshops, conferences and symposia will be organized for teachers and academics to learn and exchange ideas and research.
To help develop skills for solving basic moral and ethical dilemmas in connection with the mandates of UNODC, E4J will address primary education through the development of materials that promote basic values, in particular those of integrity and tolerance. In doing so, E4J will work with teachers and provide them with tools for helping advance those values in students, including through interactive materials (such as games and apps) for use in the classroom and extracurricular activities.
At the secondary education level, E4J will develop and disseminate practical and interactive educational materials aimed at secondary school students to promote the understanding of the basic concepts that lie at the core of UNODC-mandated areas. This will be done through a focus on ownership, behaviour, rights and responsibilities, aimed at empowering secondary level students to identify, prevent and resolve moral, ethical or legal dilemmas.
The university level component of E4J looks to support academics to teach in the fields of UNODC-mandated areas covering organized crime, corruption, terrorism prevention, cybercrime, criminal justice, trafficking of firearms, trafficking in persons, and the smuggling of migrants, as well as on integrity and ethics.
UNODC began its Global Programme on Cybercrime in 2013, following Resolution 22/8 of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Focussing upon building the capabilities of those in the global South, the work is varied: in some instances, this means developing a legislative framework; in others, the focus is on building the capabilities of law enforcement officers to investigate cyber-dependent offences.
Law enforcement cannot, however, end cybercrime through arrests and prosecutions. Prevention is truly the key. The Education for Justice (E4J) initiative provides a unique opportunity to address a significant threat in a different way: by educating children and young adults to become conscious of cyber-risk and ultimately to make better decisions.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of young people participate in Model United Nations (MUN) simulations across the globe. Reaching students at all levels, MUNs offer a popular way to learn about the UN - and for the Organization to reach tomorrow's leaders. As part of its Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, UNODC is looking to tap into the power of MUNs to educate students on the concept of the rule of law and how this issue is discussed and dealt with at an international level.
Around this, an Expert Group Meeting was held in Vienna to help further develop a forthcoming UNODC Guide for organizers of MUNs. Bringing together a diverse group of people, the meeting included students who had previously taken part in MUNs and organizers from different parts of the world in order to take into account unique perspectives.
"How can programmes such as Model UN help today's youth be better engaged with key issues affecting their lives"?
This is the question we posed to Salam Kedan, founder of the Salam Centre for Peace, on the sidelines of a recent meeting in Vienna looking at developing a UNODC Guide for organizers of Model United Nations.
Kudzai Mukaratirwa is a student in South Africa and works with 'Online Model UN'. Recently he took part in a meeting in Vienna as part of the Office's work to help further develop a forthcoming UNODC Guide for organizers of MUNs. On the sidelines of this, we spoke with Kudzai to get his views on how can Model United Nations can help students learn more about UNODC's mandates.