UNODC Nigeria celebrates the International Day of Education

"So I'll be the change! Having more empathy and kindness, caring for those who have no one, advocating for those who have no voice, empowering those who have no hope, making the world a better place for those yet unborn…"

Damaris A.'s powerful spoken word emphasizes the role of youth as agents of change in their families, communities, schools, places of work, worship and leisure. As a young graduate of the University of Benin who has experienced a lot of injustice and youth restiveness in her country, Damaris says "I pledge to use my art to fight corruption. I pledge to be a fearless voice advocating for change'.  In 2019, Damaris was among the winners of the Education for Justice (E4J) youth competition, an initiative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime aimed to educate young people to equip them with the skills and knowledge to be agents of positive change in their local communities.

Launched in 2016, E4J seeks to prevent crime and promote a culture of lawfulness through educational activities designed for primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The goal of this educational program is to equip the next generation with a more profound understand of the complexities that can undermine the rule of law, whilst encouraging them to become more actively engaged.

To mark the 2020 'International Day of Education", UNODC is hosting 'The International Day of Education with the theme 'The Role of Higher Education in strengthening the rule of law worldwide and in achieving SDG 16 by 2030'. The event will provide updates on the E4J program, whilst highlighting the importance of teaching rule of law and related subjects in education institutions across the world.

In Nigeria, UNODC is collaborating with the Ministry of Education to roll-out E4J activities.  The E4J initiative was launched in Nigeria on 18 June 2019 in Abuja.

Since then, UNODC held a Training of Trainers Workshops for the Colleges of Education, Education regulatory bodies, Staff of the Federal Ministry of Education, Civil Society Organizations and Youth volunteers.  UNODC also organized the first Hackathon for Justice event in partnership with Facebook and supported Girls Voices Initiative (GVI) in the conduct of the a first ever 'Girls Hackathon for Justice' event.. The Hackathon events train young minds to all facets of programming, promote innovation and are designed to propagate values and concepts which can help strengthen a culture of lawfulness.

UNODC in Nigeria will continue to work with the Ministry of Education, Academia, CSOs, Youth Groups and other stakeholders (towards promoting the integration of crime prevention and other rule of law related topics into the education curriculum at all levels - primary, secondary and tertiary.