With the 2020/21 academic year in Uzbekistan kicking off in early-September, the country's Ministry of Public Education recently announced the launch of a new curriculum for primary schools. Among several new additions are lessons designed to provide children with learning opportunities centred around a strong educational framework that promotes fairness, justice and integrity in a fun and interactive way - a perfect fit for UNODC's friendly space characters, the Zorbs, and with it their messages around peace and justice.
Despite the widely understood notion that imprisonment should be designed to rehabilitate prisoners ahead of their release, rather than simply punish them for crimes committed, far too often countries lack the resources to put into place structured programmes to ensure lower chances of reoffending. In Kyrgyzstan, as in many parts of the world, this is a challenge for authorities with limited skills training production facilities hampering social reintegration ambitions. Indeed, out of the country's 9,000 prisoners, only 2,000 are currently involved in some form of work programme with a view to foster rehabilitation.
While not exclusively a young person's area, information technology (IT) - including specifics such as artificial intelligence (AI), mobile app development and other emerging technologies - can be of particular interest for youth. At the same time, there is a growing interest among the younger generation in driving implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, taking advantage of opportunities to become social entrepreneurs. Indeed, according to the 2020 World Youth Report, "There is tremendous potential for young social entrepreneurs to utilize frontier technologies to tackle systemic social issues innovatively and effectively."
Countries around the world are grappling with the many harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including health and socio-economic impacts. Young people are particularly vulnerable to the disruptions the pandemic has caused, and many are now at risk of being left behind in education, economic opportunities, and health and wellbeing during a crucial stage of their life development. Many of the hardships faced during the COVID-19 crisis are also known risk factors associated with crime, violence and drug use, and may expose youth to increased victimization and involvement with crime during and after the pandemic.
To contribute to the global effort required to continue supporting and engaging youth during the COVID-19 era, UNODC, in the context of the Youth Crime Prevention component under the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, is organizing a series of online workshops on youth crime and violence prevention during and after the pandemic in different parts of the world.
Tackling crime in and through sport, protecting the credibility of sport and enhancing the strategic partnership between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) were the key issues discussed by the Executive Director of UNODC, Ghada Waly, and the President of the IOC, Thomas Bach, who met virtually on Tuesday, 21 July 2020.
Ms. Waly said that "to build back better post-COVID, we need sport to achieve more inclusive, just and safe societies". She underlined that sport is key in promoting gender equality and female empowerment, as well as the inclusion of vulnerable populations.