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.
To coincide with activities for International Women's Day, UNODC and the Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic (FFKR) hosted a Women's Football Tournament in Bishkek in March. 150 girls from Bishkek and various villages surrounding the Kyrgyz capital participated in the tournament, which was aimed at promoting civic values and disseminating the benefits of sport in keeping youth away from drugs, crime and violence.
Sports can contribute immensely to improving people's physical and psychological health. They also present the world with a universal language and a sense of belonging and support. In promoting mutual respect and tolerance, sports teaches important social and interpersonal skills. Using sports to help people, especially youth, has proven to be an effective tool in keeping them from falling into a cycle of anti-social behaviour, violence, crime and drug use.
At the recent celebrations of the National Sports Day in Doha, Qatar, Oliver Stolpe, UNODC's programme manager responsible for the implementation of the Doha Declaration Global Programme, stressed that "sports are an essential component of our modern society's goals, and it was only a matter of time UNODC leaned on them in its global mission to advance crime prevention."
In December 2017, UNODC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Undersecretary of Sports and Recreation of the city of Rio de Janeiro. The MoU formalizes cooperation under the Line Up Live Up initiative that uses sports as a means to prevent violence and crime among youth people.
UNODC is working on youth crime prevention through sports. 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.
We talked to Dr. Walter Feldman, Secretary General of the Brazilian Football Confederation about the important role sport plays for communities in Brazil