UNODC and Youth
As the world advances the Decade of Action to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the participation of young people has become ever more imperative to create new pathways for positive change and innovation. The Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) - including SDG 16 - cannot be effectively achieved without meaningful youth engagement
, which empowers them to take positive actions in their communities. It is important to address the multifaceted socio-economic, security, political, and health challenges posed to young generations - including those stemming from COVID-19 pandemic - in a balanced and comprehensive manner. This is done by investing in and working with and for youth
, through youth-sensitive, human rights-based and people-centred approaches
, has become increasingly prominent in the international agenda.
This is also in line with the objectives expressed by the United Nations Secretary-General in its report Our Common Agenda
, which clearly indicates that delivering on the priorities of young people and meaningfully including them in decision-making are investments that will lead immediate and long-term benefits for the future.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) supports Member States in making the world safer from drugs, crime, corruption, and terrorism and promotes security and justice for all.
Youth and young people are essential to accomplish UNODC’s mandates, enhance the rule of law, improve human security, and pursue justice, integrity, and health priorities.
More specifically, UNODC has the mandate to support Member States in engaging youth in crime prevention efforts and in evidence-based drug use prevention as well as ensuring that youth and children are better served and protected by the justice systems. The Office also promotes strict compliance with and enhanced implementation of relevant UN resolutions and international tools, as well as increased engagement in major coordination frameworks focusing on youth policies.
The UNODC Brussels Liaison Office works with its close partners in order to mainstream youth perspectives, encourage youth voices and ideas, and empower their meaningful participation and engagement in peace and security, sustainable development and human rights promotion.
As a cross-cutting topic, significant attention is placed on crime prevention and education, tailored to meet the specific requirements of youth. Along these lines feature the implementation and integration of the Kyoto Declaration
, adopted by the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, and specifically its commitments highlighting the role of youth in crime prevention and the need for their empowerment to promote the rule of law.
Our Cooperation with the EU
UNODC has a long-standing cooperation with the EU in policy development and standard-setting work, and in assisting partner countries and regions to address key security challenges emanating from drugs problem, organized crime, corruption and terrorism, including with regards to children and youth.
The European Union is currently contributing to UNODC work to end violence against children and to protect children and youth from the harms of drugs. The STRIVE Juvenile
project is a flagship example of the EU-UNODC partnership that supports national responses to terrorism and violent extremism affecting children.
Our Cooperation with Belgium
Youth, peace and security, promotion of human rights, with particular regard to children and the protection of civilians in crises, especially protection of children in armed conflicts, are considered among the most important elements of Belgium’s foreign policy and peace-building priorities for 2022. Belgium’s commitment to the topic was also showed at the UN Working Group on Children and Armed Conflic
t, which, under its leadership, adopted fifteen consensus texts on how to deal with violations of children's rights
in some of the most controversial country dossiers.
UNODC works alongside its Belgian partners in addressing the risks caused by trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, and terrorism, including through joint actions on the ground and support to awareness raising events and sensitization campaigns.