With poverty and insufficient labour market access often a driving force behind female imprisonment, it is crucial that inmates are provided with viable employment training opportunities post-release. In Bolivia, the situation is much the same as in many other countries, with a vast number of female inmates convicted for minor offences - many of whom are single mothers and therefore face additional pressure to secure resources by whatever means necessary, frequently leading them to commit non-violent offences such as petty theft.
Against this backdrop, UNODC has signed a new technical assistance project around vocational training with the Bolivian Prison Administration - part of the Office's ongoing work under the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration.
"Fair play, tolerance and team spirit - sports have a unique potential to help develop and reinforce positive life skills and values, and expand prospects," noted Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director at a high-level event on the topic 'Crime Prevention and Sustainable Development through Sport' held in New York this past week. Pointing to UNODC's 'Line Up Live Up' initiative that is being piloted in a number of countries around the world, the Executive Director also highlighted how the organization is helping to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular SDG 16 which looks to peaceful, just and inclusive societies and those targets related to good health and well-being, education and reducing inequalities.
After two years of planning, seven regional preparatory meetings, and consultations with approximately 4,000 judges, UNODC launched its Global Judicial Integrity Network this week, in the presence of Chief Justices, senior judges and judicial professionals from around the world.
The Network is a platform for judges to share good practices and lessons learned, to support each other, and to join forces in developing new tools and guidelines for strengthening integrity and preventing corruption in the judicial system. As such, it will also provide access to a large online database featuring thousands of resources, good practices, and other judicial documents for immediate reference.
When judges in every country are able to access pertinent legal and judicial resources, to study good practices and to review a multitude of other materials put at their disposition by UNODC, within a network affording them the opportunity to directly liaise and confer with their peers in other jurisdictions, their individual efforts in fighting corruption and in protecting judicial integrity are immediately reinforced by the power of consensus and sustained by the strength of its universality.
Ultimately, and more importantly, these steps will protect people's right to justice. As inspirational and idealistic as it may seem, this is the goal of every honourable member of the judicial system.
In 2016, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime launched a global programme to promote a culture of lawfulness. It includes the creation of a Global Judicial Integrity Network to share best practices and lessons learned on the fundamental challenges and new questions relating to judicial integrity and the prevention of corruption.
This is an important step for the creation of a common language and a common perspective amongst different domains of the United Nations. In my capacity as Special Rapporteur, I have already expressed my full disposal to collaborate in the implementation of this programme.