Situated in the southern Batken province of Kyrgyzstan, the municipality of Kulundu sits on the border with Tajikistan in Central Asia. Home to around 25,000 people, the residents in this remote, rural area mostly earn their living by engaging in agriculture and cross-border trade. With limited employment opportunities, however, young people often face a range of challenges.
Within this context, UNODC is working to use sport as a vehicle to promote valuable life skills among youth. Under the Doha Declaration Global Programme, the organization is engaging youth who are at risk of violence, drugs and crime, with Kyrgyzstan one of the pilot countries where awareness raising sports initiatives will be conducted.
Experts from UNODC held a series of discussions in Tajikistan in early-September 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.
Following on from UNODC's successful hackathon (or coding challenge) in South Africa in July, a second #Hack4Justice event was held in Bolivia in early-September. Organized in partnership with the Higher University of San Andrés, some 36 secondary school students showed off their ideas and compete to develop educational games focussing on justice and rule of law issues.
An all-girls team, Cultura Marraqueta, took first place with their idea for a game called 'Utopia'. In this, players move within a fictitious world where different villages are dominated by monsters who represent specific crime types. The objective is for players to navigate around these villages and complete challenges which help the monsters assume human forms and abandon criminal activities.
As part of UNODC's anti-corruption work within the judiciary, this week kicked off with an Expert Group Meeting in Vienna focussing on the development of judicial ethics training. Key experts, including judges, academics and legal professionals from over 20 countries were present, offering extensive inputs and insights into this crucial issue. The meeting proved essential in hearing the views and recommendations of these globally recognized experts on how to develop training tools in particular for newly appointed members of the judiciary. Most importantly, the two days provided a discussion forum to ensure that the products which will be developed take into account the views of judiciaries as the ultimate recipients of the training to meet the specific needs of those within the area.
In the run up to the launch of the Global Judicial Integrity Network in 2018, UNODC this week held its preparatory meeting for Europe, bringing together a diverse group of justice officials and associations from over 20 countries from across the region.
Following similar activities held in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016, and ahead of meetings for Africa planned for later this year, the two-day discussion offered a forum to exchange good practices and challenges in judicial integrity, as well as expectations of the Network once it goes live.