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 implemented in twelve countries across the world, ranging from Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East to Latin America and the Caribbean. 

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Leveraging sport for substance use prevention: reviewing the evidence at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Leveraging sport for substance use prevention: reviewing the evidence at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Sport can be a powerful tool to engage communities and prevent crime, violence and potentially drug use among youth. In the context of the 64 th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, international experts gathered virtually during a side event to discuss what the evidence says about the role of sport in supporting youth to prevent drug use and address related risk and protective factors.

Sport, and physical activity more broadly, can also be effective in promoting wellbeing and health, including mental health and reducing the risk of depression, as well as improve the cognitive functions and academic outcomes of young people and adolescents. 

Amplifying the stories of Palestinian youth amid COVID-19

Amplifying the stories of Palestinian youth amid COVID-19

In the context of its Youth Crime Prevention through Sport initiative under the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, UNODC continues to support and engage Palestinian youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on the Line Up Live Up sport-based curriculum, which was piloted for the first time in Palestine in 2018, the Office continues engaging young people through the development of awareness-raising material using a participatory video approach. A selected group of young teachers, Line Up Live Up trainers, and mass communication students received 20 virtual sessions of training on developing their own audio-visual material, along with messaging on violence, crime and drug use and on the role of sport in building youth and community resilience.


A Volunteer from Attil (Line Up Line Up Participatory Video Series: Palestine)

In this piece, Raghda Taweir presents a story about coach Ahmed Kahle, who is volunteering for the junior football team in Attil town in Tulkarm, and his sense of social responsibility and appreciation of sport.

The Haven's Alley (Line Up Line Up Participatory Video Series: Palestine)

In the Haven's Alley, Asmahan Hamdan's video shows how the lack of suitable playgrounds and safe spaces affects children in camps, pushing them to play in the alleys and streets. The story filming took place in Aida camp in Bethlehem.