Adopted at the conclusion of the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Doha Declaration highlights the importance of education as a tool to preventing crime and corruption. It emphasizes that education for children and youth is fundamental in promoting a culture that supports the rule of law, crime prevention and criminal justice.
In support of this, the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative - under the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration - has been developed to create and disseminate education materials in UNODC mandated areas of crime prevention and criminal justice across the primary, secondary and tertiary education levels. Online tools and academic resources will be made available free of charge, while workshops, conferences and symposia will be organized for teachers and academics to learn and exchange ideas and research.
To help develop skills for solving basic moral and ethical dilemmas in connection with the mandates of UNODC, E4J will address primary education through the development of materials that promote basic values, in particular those of integrity and tolerance. In doing so, E4J will work with teachers and provide them with tools for helping advance those values in students, including through interactive materials (such as games and apps) for use in the classroom and extracurricular activities.
At the secondary education level, E4J will develop and disseminate practical and interactive educational materials aimed at secondary school students to promote the understanding of the basic concepts that lie at the core of UNODC-mandated areas. This will be done through a focus on ownership, behaviour, rights and responsibilities, aimed at empowering secondary level students to identify, prevent and resolve moral, ethical or legal dilemmas.
The university level component of E4J looks to support academics to teach in the fields of UNODC-mandated areas covering organized crime, corruption, terrorism prevention, cybercrime, criminal justice, trafficking of firearms, trafficking in persons, and the smuggling of migrants, as well as on integrity and ethics.
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The linkages between organized crime and terrorism were at the core of two days of discussions last month, bringing select international academics and experts together in Doha to explore and find ways to counter these connections. Organized jointly by the College of Law of the University of Qatar and E4J, the conference aimed at discussing new research and more currently relevant analyses on how terrorists and criminal organizations are increasingly working together. Participants tackled a wide selection of topics, ranging from the interplay between international, regional and national legal frameworks regulating terrorism and organized crime, to various types of linkages between terrorism and organized crime in different regions, and the appropriate policy, legal and judicial responses.
Two years after it was launched and half-way into its projected life span, the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration has already scored successes in several fields of activity and benefited people in numerous countries around the world. With far-reaching initiatives having already been launched to great acclaim, the Global Programme has covered a variety of disciplines and established thematic components falling under UNODC's mandate.
Today, over 14,000 stakeholders in more than 180 countries have been directly reached by the Global Programme. 23 countries have received direct, targeted technical assistance and over 5,400 stakeholders from 167 countries have been assisted in capacity building.
"Chuka, Break the Silence" is one of UNODC's most innovative projects. The creative, bespoke video game helps young girls develop ways to respond to psychological, physical and sexual violence, while raising boys' awareness and helping them recognize such situations. By playing as the character Chuka, a 13-year old female YouTuber and gamer who encounters haters and monsters in a nightmare, children learn to be assertive and to take actions which help them defeat various forms of gender-based violence.
The Education for Justice (E4J) initiative seeks to prevent crime and promote a culture of lawfulness through education activities designed for primary, secondary and tertiary levels. These activities will help educators teach the next generation to better understand and address problems that can undermine the rule of law and encourage students to actively engage in their communities and future professions in this regard. Around this, we spoke to Wendy O'Brian, Deakin Univeristy, to get her thoughts on how to implement education based on the rule of law in a local context.