Fifty secondary school children from a small town on the outskirts of Vienna sat mesmerized at UNODC headquarters this week as they watched, in the midst of an international audience of Member State delegates, a special English-language production of 'Dieci storie proprio cosi' (Ten stories just like this), the renowned play which was being performed for the first time outside of Italy. Recounting real stories of people whose relatives were victims of organized crime, actors engaged vivaciously with the audience.
This unique event, organized jointly by UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) initiative and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the International Organizations in Vienna, was held during this week's 9th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
Prisoner rehabilitation is both key to protecting society from crime as well as helping prisoners be better prepared for their release. Towards this, training and reintegration initiatives, coupled with post-release support, are essential towards reducing recidivism.
Working to this end, UNODC and the Government of Singapore recently conducted a joint regional training workshop on correctional rehabilitation, bringing together some 63 officials from 16 Asian and Pacific Island countries who are integral in their areas for prisoner rehabilitation activities.
Fighting drugs and crime takes place at many levels, and switching from a punitive to a more rehabilitative approach has become a growing trend among prison administrations.
As the guardian of the Nelson Mandela Rules, UNODC puts great focus on the conditions of prisoners, and on contributing solutions to facilitate their smooth reinsertion into society. This important vocation is also one of the four components of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, and one where UNODC, in partnership with Member States, is always trying to cover new ground, with the generous support of the State of Qatar.
Under the slogan 'Enjoy and take care of yourself on the Internet,' the Ministry of Education of El Salvador has launched a national campaign using UNODC educational materials. Developed by the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, the materials included The Online Zoo book and modules designed to assist teachers in early media education as they explain to children the challenges of being online.
Audiovisual and printed materials for schools have been developed as part of the campaign, which itself is based on six thematic areas: cybersecurity, Internet privacy, sexting, grooming, sextortion, and cyberbullying. The campaign aims to inform and prevent the main cybercrimes that affect children, and to emphasize the importance of preserving privacy and safety on the Internet.
At the invitation of UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, in partnership with the organization Worldview Education, more than sixty leading Indian educators met this month in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Mumbai for a series of discussions on Model United Nations (MUN), and on E4J's Resource Guide which incorporates crime prevention, criminal justice and other rule of law aspects into MUN conferences.
Stressing the importance of students and teachers in strengthening the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Suruchi Pant, Deputy Representative of UNODC's Regional Office for South Asia, noted: "I believe that change for a better tomorrow is only possible if it is championed by young leaders."