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.
One of the many impacts of containment measures, including confinement, is the limitation of young people's participation in public life and sports events. Indeed, these were often part of their pre-pandemic daily routine and as has been observed, society's most vulnerable are often those most affected by the dramatic decrease in participation opportunities.
To counter this in Kyrgyzstan, UNODC and the Ministry of Education and Science recently partnered to provide children and youth across the country with opportunities for positive engagement and to foster physical activity and social inclusion during COVID-19.
UNODC and the world football's governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to step up their joint cooperation to address threats to sport posed by crime.
The MoU, which was signed at UNODC's Vienna-based headquarters by UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly and FIFA President Gianni Infantino during the 'Tackling Corruption and Crime in and through Sport' event, also pledges to consider ways in which football can be used as a vehicle to strengthen youth resilience to crime and substance use through the provision of life-skills training.
Worldwide, how big of a problem is youth crime? How can youth be led away from a life of crime? Find out more in this new episode of UNODC Explains.
This workshop analysed the risk factors of youth crime and victimization, in particular in the context of increased vulnerabilities during COVID-19, and identified existing and future responses in South Africa. Responses were discussed in the context of South Africa's 2016 White paper on Safety and Security, which promotes a multi-agency, developmental approach to crime prevention.