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.
In mid-June, UNODC experts met with a range of Government officials and non-state actors in Kyrgyzstan to explore ways to expand cooperation in tackling crime and drug use through using sports. The meetings, held in the capital Bishkek, were an important step towards rolling-out UNODC's global initiative which aims to prevent delinquency among at-risk youth as part of the Doha Declaration Global Programme as well as the Office's 2015-2019 Regional Programme for Central Asia. The initiative focuses on sports to build resilience of youth by enhancing their life skills and increasing their knowledge of the consequences of crime and drug use.
Under the Doha Declaration Global Programme, UNODC has launched a small grants programme in Brazil to support national Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) active in the field of youth development. Specifically, the organization is looking to engage CSOs that use sport as a vehicle to work with youth in marginalized communities who are at-risk of being involved in crime, violence or drug use. The grants - which will range from US$ 30,000 to US$ 50,000 for a maximum one-year period - will support initiatives that aim to raise awareness on the benefits of sport for the prevention of crime, violence and drugs use among youth through sport initiatives, community mobilization and sensitization activities. In doing so, initiatives that seek to empower youth to disseminate anti-crime and violence messages will be encouraged.
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.
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.