Countries around the world are grappling with the many harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health and socio-economic impacts. Peru is one of the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean most severely affected by COVID-19 in terms of public health outcomes. The social and economic impact is also considerable, and young people are extremely vulnerable to the disruptions the pandemic has caused, with major effects on their education, economic opportunities, and well-being. Many of the hardships faced by young people during the COVID-19 crisis are also known risk factors associated with crime, violence and drug use, and may expose youth to increased risks for victimization and involvement with crime during and after the pandemic.
A woman's road to accessing justice was already precarious prior to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Across the world, an estimated 243 million women and girls aged 15-49 years were subjected to sexual or physical violence by an intimate partner in the previous 12 months. A portion of these women form part of the 2.5 billion who are deprived of various forms of legal protections.
The crisis has brought the resilience of justice systems into sharp focus, with resources being diverted away from the justice sector towards more immediate public health measures. Institutions and services such as the courts, hotlines, crisis centres, legal aid clinics and social welfare services are being scaled back in many countries. Justice institutions have also been compelled to operate differently. Courts are prioritizing "exceptionally urgent" cases and placing restrictions on in-person appearances.
When international experts gathered at UNODC's headquarters in Vienna back in 2016 to develop a sport-based intervention that would help reduce youth crime and drug use, the guiding principle was that it had to be informed by existing evidence on what did and did not work. Building on this, and recognizing the evidence about the benefits of developing life skills among youth, UNODC created the Line Up Live Up curriculum. A first for UNODC, this 10-session programme combined sports activities with life skills training for youth aged 13 to 18. Some four years later, the programme has now been piloted in 12 countries worldwide, building life skills among more than 13,000 youth and working with 900-plus trainers.
Across the world, COVID-19 has changed all aspects of our daily lives. The closure of schools; the loss of employment; the social distancing measures - these, and more, have had has vast consequences on all members of society, including those children and their families who were already living in precarious situations.
In a bid to tackle the negative longer-term impact on social and behavioural development in youth, UNODC has been working in Tajikistan to help young people better cope with new realities. Over the past months, a series of training events for teachers, parents and youth have both been rolled out to promote an understanding of the benefits of sport in building life skills and pro-social behaviour.
Adopted in 2006, the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct offer international standards for the ethical behaviour of judges, providing judiciaries worldwide with a set of agreed-upon core principles which help guide their work. Indeed, these six principles - independence, impartiality, integrity, propriety, equality, and competence and diligence - are considered central in efforts to build judiciaries which are free of corruption and which ultimately act for all members of society.
With a fair, unhindered judiciary one of the cornerstones of the rule of law, a United Nations workshop was recently held in Mali's capital Bamako on the application of the Bangalore Principles.