In using education to promote a culture of lawfulness, UNODC's 'Education for Justice' (E4J) initiative held its latest Expert Group Meeting from 7-8 March. Focussing on tertiary education - and following the hosting of primary and secondary-level educators and experts in February - the meeting brought together over 80 key academics from around the globe to draw on their expertise in teaching on crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law.
The meeting - held at the UN's offices in Vienna - generated a set of practical recommendations to support stronger teaching in the fields of corruption, organized crime, trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants, terrorism, cybercrime, crime prevention and criminal justice and firearms trafficking, as well as on integrity and ethics.
Following the start of the Office's 'Line Up Live Up' curriculum in Brasilia, which will deliver life skills training in vulnerable communities, UNODC held a series of discussions with Government authorities, civil society and key sports organizations in Rio de Janeiro.
UNODC's life skills training initiative as part of its global activities to prevent youth crime under the Doha Declaration Global Programme has started in Brazil . The initiative focuses on sports in order to build resilience of youth by enhancing their life skills and increase their knowledge of the consequences of crime and drug use. With a view to positively influence attitudes and prevent anti-social and risky behaviour, the initiative is first being piloted in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro, before being rolled out to other regions, including Latin America, Southern Africa and Central Asia.
Barely a decade ago, suggesting to judicial officers that introducing rules and obligations to declare their assets and other relevant interests and activities as part of upholding judicial integrity and preventing opportunities for corruption was met with great scepticism.
However, in many jurisdictions nowadays, the issue has gained traction and judges themselves are no longer shying away from the debate. Given this shift, there is a real opportunity to advance this discussion, exchange experiences and learn from those jurisdictions that have introduced financial and similar disclosure systems for their judges. The Global Judicial Integrity Network, an initiative about to be launched by UNODC under the Doha Declaration Global Programme, will provide a unique platform for this exchange.
The integration of crime prevention and criminal justice into all levels of education is essential in building long-term approaches to countering crime and violence. It is also critical in ensuring that the rule of law is respected from an early age in order to build safe and prosperous societies for all. Recognizing this, the Doha Declaration, highlights the fundamental importance of universal education for children and youth to prevent crime, terrorism and corruption and promote sustainable development.
Within this area, E4J is holding a series of Expert Group Meetings in Vienna, bringing together experts with a variety of backgrounds from across Governments, civil society, academia, the private sector and international organizations.