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.
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Around the globe, it is estimated that over 1,500 Model United Nations (MUN) conferences are held every year, involving up to half a million learners from primary school to university. To promote the rule of law to students through this academic simulation phenomenon, UNODC's unique Model UN Guide was the first of its kind to support the integration of crime prevention and criminal justice issues into an MUN when it was launched earlier this year.
To explore the Guide's potential for wider dissemination in established MUN arenas, the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative hosted a three-day training workshop last week, engaging with educators, university student leaders and staff from the numerous UNODC offices around the world.
Educational material is ever more available for all ages online as access to the Internet increases worldwide, allowing children and young adults everywhere to enjoy a wide offer of entertainment and a broad range of educational games. UNODC's own array into that field includes the recent launch of the video game 'Chuka, Break the Silence,' educating young ones on gender-based violence, and the upcoming relaunch of the updated app 'Fair Play,' a game which stimulates ethical decision-making and integrity.
Many experts do believe, however, that real life personal interaction can be more conducive to learning, and that interactive educational games are a perfect medium to impart lessons which are better absorbed.
Over 1,500 Model UN conferences are held yearly, involving up to half a million students around the globe. Our MUN Resource Guide provides valuable information on organizing an MUN conference addressing various aspects of the rule of law.
Building a culture of lawfulness starts with strengthening our ethical values and the ability to act upon them. To that end, #Education4Justice developed a series of Integrity and Ethics Modules for lecturers across the world.