Crime prevention through sports

As part of its efforts to support the implementation of the Doha Declaration, UNODC has launched a global youth crime prevention initiative that builds on the power of sports as a tool for peace. The initiative aims to promote sports and related activities to prevent crime and to effectively build resilience of at-risk youth. Strengthening the life skills of youth is a key objective in order to minimize risk factors and maximize protective factors related to crime, violence and drug use. By enhancing knowledge of the consequences of crime and substance abuse and developing life skills, the initiative seeks to positively influence behaviour and attitudes of at-risk youth and prevent anti-social and risky behaviour.

Sports for development and crime prevention

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underlines the growing contribution of sports as a tool for peace in its promotion of tolerance and respect. It also highlights the contributions that sport can make to the empowerment of communities as a whole, to individuals (particularly women and young people) as well as to health, education and social inclusion.

More specifically, sports offer an important opportunity for building life skills of at-risk youth that allow them to better cope with daily life challenges and move away from involvement in violence, crime or drug use.

Youth as agents of change

Through partnerships with Governments, sports organizations and civil society, UNODC will conduct national and regional youth-oriented awareness raising sports initiatives to further promote civic values and disseminate the benefits of sport in keeping youth from becoming involved in crime and violence.

Youth will be placed at the centre of outreach activities as agents for change. By sharing their experiences on how sports and life skills training helped them to stay away from crime, youth will engage and reach out to other at-risk youth.

Line Up Live Up

Line Up Live Up - UNODC's evidence-informed and sports-based life skills training curriculum - has been designed as a unique tool that transfers the accumulated expertise of the United Nations and other partners in implementing life skills training for crime and drug use prevention to sport settings. 

Through the Line Up Live Up programme, sports coaches, teachers and others working with youth in sports settings can target valuable life skills, such as resisting social pressures to engage in delinquency, coping with anxiety and communicating effectively with peers, through a set of interactive and fun exercises.

The training programme has been first tested and piloted in Brazil in 2017 and will be implemented in a number of countries across the world, including those in Africa, Central Asia, the Middle East and South America. 

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On International Youth Day 2017, UNODC launches tool to help communities use sport to build resilience of their youth

On International Youth Day 2017, UNODC launches tool to help communities use sport to build resilience of their youth

Building on the work of the United Nations and others to help at-risk youth in marginalized communities avoid engaging in drugs, crime and violence, UNODC has launched a brand new Line Up Live Up Trainer Manual. Designed to assist coaches, trainers, youth workers and others looking to use sport as a vehicle to help 13 to 18 year olds cope with challenges in everyday life, the Trainer Manual has been designed for use in low resource settings across the globe. The Trainer Manual specifically draws on sport as a positive influence for youth to develop their personal and social skills and aims to increase knowledge about the risks associated with crime, violence and drug use.

UNODC Southern Africa highlights the power of sport for social good this Nelson Mandela International Day

UNODC Southern Africa highlights the power of sport for social good this Nelson Mandela International Day

Each year on 18 July, South Africans and people living across the world are encouraged to do 67 minutes of good in celebration of the life and principles of Nelson Mandela: 18 July, marking the birthday of the late icon, and 67 minutes to represent 67 years of his life spent in public service. This year, UNODC's Regional Office for Southern Africa partnered with a number of organizations working with children and youth, under the 'Gugulethu United for Youth' coalition to  celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day and promote sports and play as tools for  social  good and peaceful communities. Bringing together young people and communities, this fun-day event was based on the principles of fair play, peace, unity, service, respect and tolerance.


Line Up Live Up Football Exhibition for CCPCJ 2017

At the 26th Crime Commission in 2017, UNODC demonstrated some of the life skills exercises on a specially constructed pitch in the UN Plaza - a location not generally known as the setting for a football match! Working with partners including the FIFA Grassroots Programme, the NGO Grassroot Soccer South Africa, and the First Vienna Football Club youth team, attendees were shown the exact exercises employed to help youth aged 13-17 gain the necessary skills and mind-set to be able to resist anti-social behaviours.


Line Up Live Up in Brazil (EP.2)

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.