Following early successes and positive experiences over recent months in piloting the Doha Declaration Global Programme's 'Line Up Live Up' curriculum in Brazil, on-the-ground work recently started in South Africa. Consultations held with a wide array of Government and non-Governmental actors at both national and provincial levels not only affirmed the recognized need for additional youth crime prevention initiatives but also highlighted the range of opportunities and potential synergies in the country to link up with.
In mid-May, UNODC organized its first Youth Dialogue event in Brasilia as part of the Office's ongoing work in using sports as a tool to counter youth crime through the development of vital life skills. Bringing together over 20 adolescents aged 11 to 17 from Olympic Centers that serve under-privileged communities, the group discussed how sports influence their lives and how UNODC can ultimately use this as a vehicle to build resilience of at-risk youth and prevent them from engaging in violence, crime and drug use.
Experts on crime and drug-use prevention, sports and development, as well as evaluation and monitoring, gathered in Vienna in May to review the results of UNODC's sports-based life skills training curriculum currently being developed under the Doha Declaration Global Programme. With the gathering of key people from within this area, the meeting allowed for an in-depth exchange of views on the development of the impact evaluation tools and to discuss opportunities for linking the life skills training to other support services for youth in marginalized communities.
Under the Doha Declaration Global Programme, UNODC promotes sport as a critical tool to prevent youth crime. Through a life skills training programme, the initiative - Line Up Live Up - works with at-risk youth to build resilience to violence, crime and drug use. At this year's Crime Commission, 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.
The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace recognizes the power of sport to drive social development and promote tolerance, respect and social inclusion - areas reflected in UNODC's own work under the Doha Declaration Global Programme.
As the lead United Nations organization to combat and prevent crime and drug use, UNODC recently launched a unique initiative, making the link between sport, life-skills development and crime prevention. Through building on the wide reach, positive values and popularity among youth that sport has, the organization uses this as a vehicle for transferring life-skills to young people that live in crime-prone neighbourhoods.