The world today is home to the largest generation of young people in history. Young people constitute an invaluable asset we need to invest in and empower so they can achieve their full potential.
While youth are key agents of change, they also face many challenges that make them vulnerable to crime, drugs, violence and victimization. To counter this, the UN recognizes the importance of supporting and actively engaging youth to pave a safer, more peaceful world. The role of youth was emphasized in the Doha Declaration, adopted in 2015 after the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. In particular, the Doha Declaration seeks to promote the rule of law with particular emphasis on children and youth, and stresses the fundamental role of youth participation in crime prevention efforts.
In 2016, UNODC launched the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. Two of the Global Programme’s four components – Youth Crime Prevention through Sports and the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative – are dedicated to youth. These two components have impacted over 1.55 million youth worldwide and developed over 150 educational tools and resources aimed at young people, including university modules, training materials, a Resource Guide on Model United Nations conferences and a series of educational games.
The Youth Crime Prevention through Sports initiative builds on the power of sport as a tool to promote peace and strengthen the resilience of youth, especially those in vulnerable situations.
This component developed the Line Up Live Up initiative, a sport-based life skills training programme for young people aged 13-18. UNODC also actively engages other UN entities to strengthen the role of youth in making societies more resilient to crime and violence and related problems. This includes cooperation with UNDESA and with UNESCO on the use of sport for skills development and learning, youth empowerment and participation. UNODC has also joined forces with the civil society sector, sports organizations, and local government institutions to enhance the resilience of vulnerable and at-risk youth to become community leaders and SDG 16 advocates.
The component regularly undertakes the following activities:
The E4J initiative has been developed to create and disseminate educational materials on UNODC mandated areas of crime prevention and criminal justice across primary, secondary and tertiary education levels. Overall, E4J's objective is to empower youth to become socially responsible global citizens with a sound moral and ethical compass who are prepared to tackle the world’s challenges related to the rule of law.
E4J aims to build the capacity of educators to equip students with a better understanding of issues that can undermine the rule of law and the ability to addresses these. The initiative collaborates with stakeholders such as Governments, civil society organizations, youth associations, the private sector, and other international organizations to achieve its objectives through the creation and dissemination of age-appropriate educational activities and materials.
The initiative has also created an online Library of Resources: a comprehensive, open-access database of educational materials. The Library is continuously expanding and currently contains over 7,200 documents in several languages that assist educators’ lesson planning and teaching on a range of rule of law topics. Through this online resource and the wider range of tools and materials detailed below, the E4J website provides comprehensive and easily accessible educational content on rule of law-related topics.
The E4J initiative regularly engages in the following types of activities: