Rio de Janeiro, 27 November 2017 - As part of the crime prevention work undertaken by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), a series of capacity building initiatives are taking place across the globe to promote sport as a tool to prevent crime, violence and drug use among at-risk youth.
Besides raising awareness on the positive impact that sport has for the promotion of tolerance, respect and health among young people, UNODC highlights the importance of sport to build resilience against crime. In cooperation with partners, the organization supports sport centres and schools to implement a new sport-based life skills training programme called Line Up Live Up ( Vamos Nessa in Portuguese). This teaches social and personal skills to youth, increases their knowledge about the risks of crime and drug use, and addresses their normative beliefs concerning these issues.
Since mid-2016, UNODC has worked with authorities in Brazil to promote sport for prevention and initiated various pilot initiatives around sport centres in marginalized communities in Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro. Building on the work done in Brazil and other pilot countries, a study visit is taking place in Rio this week, bringing together policy makers and sports trainers from 10 countries around the world to explore the use of sport as a tool for prevention, both from a policy and practitioner's perspective. The event will feature presentations, roundtable discussions, practical workshops and site-visits to exchange experiences and familiarize participants with the Line Up Live Up life skills training for youth.
The Sports and Recreation Undersecretary of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Julio Carlos Morandi, attended the opening of the event that took place today. Mr. Morandi noted the importance of healthy habits during childhood and adolescence and that sports acts as a protective measure to prevent young people from becoming involved in crime and using drugs. "We are very happy to take part in participating in this global initiative and to work towards the implementation of the Doha Declaration". From the side of the UN, Nivio Nascimento, UNODC's programme officer in Brazil, stressed that, "Latin America is the most violent region in the world and that it is essential for the United Nations, Governments and civil society, to dedicate efforts to the prevention of violence among young people. The potential of sports for prevention is still little explored, but Line Up Live Up, is designed to have an impact in changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of at-risk youth, in Brazil as well as in other countries in the region and around the world".
The closing event on 1 December will also see the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Rio and UNODC to formalize the cooperation in the area of youth crime prevention.
The youth crime prevention through sport initiative is part of UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. This was formed after the 13 th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in 2015 and is implemented with the support from the State of Qatar. The Global Programme provides support and technical assistance to Member States across the world in specific areas in order to promote a culture of lawfulness and boost respect for the rule of law, including through the strengthening of evidence-informed crime prevention programs.
Doha Declaration Global Programme: www.unodc.org/dohadeclaration
Kevin Town, Public Information Officer
T: +43-699-1459-5575 E: kevin.town[a]un.org