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."
The effectiveness of any judiciary depends upon its perceived legitimacy, especially in the eyes of the public. This perception requires not only that the judges uphold the highest standards of integrity and independence, but also that states respect judicial independence and do not undermine judicial decisions.
A successful judiciary is one whose members are appointed following a rigorous process assessing both the candidate's legal qualifications as well as integrity. Different countries' constitutions and other laws provide for different requirements, but it is crucial that only the best people are appointed to judicial positions. Judiciaries should not be politicized - this means that ruling parties should not appoint judges who will be answerable to them and not to the constitution and members of the public.
Under the Doha Declaration Global Programme's initiative on youth crime prevention, UNODC has launched a small grants scheme in Kyrgyzstan to support national Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) active in the field of youth development. Specifically, UNODC is looking to engage CSOs that use sport as a vehicle to work with youth in marginalized communities who are at-risk of being involved in crime, violence or drug use.
"Can anyone tell me why Dana succeeded in this exercise?" asks Randa, a summer camp instructor, to the 20 young girls still catching their breath from the last sports activity. A few of them enthusiastically raise their hands: "She did not lose her self-control," says one girl; "She was persistent," adds another.
It is precisely this lesson that Randa is hoping will be absorbed by the young people attending a two-week summer camp at Qalandia Village, near Ramallah. It is here that Randa has been implementing a range of sports activities to help youth develop their life skills and better cope with daily challenges to stay away from violence and crime. Prior to the opening of the summer camps, Randa was part of a group of 26 instructors in the State of Palestine trained by UNODC on the Line Up, Live Up life skills curriculum.
Today, over 55 per cent of the world's population lives in urban areas; by 2050, this is set to increase to more than two-thirds. While urbanization brings with it economic growth and prosperity, it also presents a range of negative social issues, with cities often home to high levels of income inequality, gangs, and organized criminal groups.
Looking to help counter this, UNODC works with countries to reduce urban crime and violence at regional, national and local levels. One of those with whom UNODC has been partnering closely to achieve this is Colombia, through mechanisms such as strengthening local data collection and crime analysis, and, most recently, introducing the sports-based, youth crime prevention initiative Line Up, Live Up.