Judicial integrity, one of the pillars upon which rule of law rests, depends on a long list of factors which continues to be adapted in a fast-changing world. While national contexts vary, judiciaries often face comparable challenges in ensuring independence and integrity in their respective countries, and they agree on the need to ensure that guidelines on judicial matters remain current.
While the basics of judicial integrity have been agreed and enumerated in the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct, the guidelines on some topical matters may not be up to the required standards. To overcome this, two big meetings were held in Seoul in December, the first organized by the Judicial Policy Research Institute of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Korea; the second, by UNODC.
Engaging young people in disenfranchised areas and addressing their needs has become a matter of utmost importance and an integral part of the global struggle to prevent violent extremism (PVE). Using educational, vocational, cultural and physical activities, Governments, NGOs and civil society groups are trying to empower them with the life skills and values which can prevent their descent into a life of violent extremism and crime, and give them a positive outlook on their future.
Reflecting on the growing importance of this approach, UNODC and UNESCO jointly convened an expert group meeting in Vienna this week, to share with various practitioners experiences on recent and ongoing initiatives, to review key findings, and to generate recommendations on the use of sports in the prevention of violent extremism.
Preparing today's youth to become tomorrow's leaders rests in large part on giving them solid educational pillars, including not only the necessary range of formal academics but also strong ethical foundations and essential life skills.
To keep the dialogue open with this most important of resources, its young people, UNODC's Regional Office for Eastern Africa, with support from the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, recently organized the National Youth Workshop on Promoting Good Governance and Integrity, bringing together some 500 Kenyan youth, representing all segments of society, including vulnerable communities from across the country.
Sextortion, as defined by the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), is the abuse of power to obtain a sexual benefit or advantage. As such, it is a form of corruption in which sex, rather than money, is the currency of the bribe. It is not limited to certain countries or sectors and can be found wherever those entrusted with power lack integrity and try to sexually exploit those who are vulnerable and dependent on their power.
The IAWJ has succinctly explained the principle underlying sextortion as follows: what distinguishes sextortion from other types of sexually abusive conduct is that it has both a sexual component and a corruption component. The sexual component of sextortion arises from a request - whether implicit or explicit - to engage in any kind of unwanted sexual activity, ranging from sexual intercourse to exposing private body parts.
For decades, UNODC has provided technical assistance and advisory services to Member States on crime prevention and criminal justice in numerous sectors. One key area has been its work on prisoner rehabilitation programmes, encouraging the fair and humane treatment of prisoners, and helping prepare them to reintegrate society after having served their prison sentences.
With the United Nations General Assembly's adoption in 2015 of the Nelson Mandela Rules, of which UNDOC is the guardian, penal reform programmes have been increasingly set up to strengthen prison management and improve prison conditions, and to facilitate the social integration of prisoners upon release.