8 September 2017 - This past week, experts from UNODC held a series of discussions in Tajikistan with Government departments and civil society to promote sport for prevention. Part of the Doha Declaration Global Programme and UNODC's Regional Programme for Central Asia, the discussions presented the possibility of using sport as a vehicle to reduce crime, violence and drug use among at-risk youth through the Line Up Live Up initiative and joined initiatives to raise awareness of the benefits of sport for safe and healthy life styles among young people.
With a view to building youth resilience, UNODC met with a number of key partners in the capital Dushanbe who are working with young people. The State Committee on Youth, Sport and Tourism; the Ministries of Education, Interior, and Labour and Social Protection; the Mayor's Office; the Football Federation; and a number of civil society and international organizations were all consulted during the week in order to best work in the country.
The discussions come at a particularly timely juncture: not only does 2017 mark the country's National Year of Youth, which includes a focus on development, security and improvements to sports infrastructure, but it also coincides with the very recent launch of UNODC's Trainer Manual. This is specifically designed to assist coaches, trainers, youth workers and others looking to use sport as a vehicle to help 13 to 18 year olds cope with challenges in everyday life in low resource settings.