Worldwide, schooling in 2020 has been marked by unprecedented interruptions to children's learning and teacher's efforts to educate. With COVID-19 first leading to school closures, and later to social distancing measures, the pandemic has forced educational systems to adapt and develop new ways of learning, as well as identify solutions to mobilize youth remotely. In West Africa, where the COVID-19 reaction measures reflect much of the rest of the world, one of the ways this is now being achieved is through the region's first educational television station, Télé-Ecole, with whom UNODC recently partnered.
Since ancient times, China has always advocated for a culture of integrity. The famous philosopher Confucius once said, "An intellectual who inspires himself in the pursuit of truth, but is ashamed of old clothes and coarse food, is not worth consulting." Attaching great importance to judicial integrity, China's Chief Justice Zhou Qiang clearly points out that "Judicial corruption should be resolutely punished with a zero-tolerance attitude." The Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China and the Judges Law of the People's Republic of China have made provisions for the corrupt behaviour of judges, such as the perversion of justice for bribes and abuse of power.
With the 2020/21 academic year in Uzbekistan kicking off in early-September, the country's Ministry of Public Education recently announced the launch of a new curriculum for primary schools. Among several new additions are lessons designed to provide children with learning opportunities centred around a strong educational framework that promotes fairness, justice and integrity in a fun and interactive way - a perfect fit for UNODC's friendly space characters, the Zorbs, and with it their messages around peace and justice.
Despite the widely understood notion that imprisonment should be designed to rehabilitate prisoners ahead of their release, rather than simply punish them for crimes committed, far too often countries lack the resources to put into place structured programmes to ensure lower chances of reoffending. In Kyrgyzstan, as in many parts of the world, this is a challenge for authorities with limited skills training production facilities hampering social reintegration ambitions. Indeed, out of the country's 9,000 prisoners, only 2,000 are currently involved in some form of work programme with a view to foster rehabilitation.
While not exclusively a young person's area, information technology (IT) - including specifics such as artificial intelligence (AI), mobile app development and other emerging technologies - can be of particular interest for youth. At the same time, there is a growing interest among the younger generation in driving implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, taking advantage of opportunities to become social entrepreneurs. Indeed, according to the 2020 World Youth Report, "There is tremendous potential for young social entrepreneurs to utilize frontier technologies to tackle systemic social issues innovatively and effectively."