Crime prevention through sports

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. 

Download the publications


Leaving no one behind: Strengthening youth resilience during and after the pandemic in Tajikistan

Leaving no one behind: Strengthening youth resilience during and after the pandemic in Tajikistan

Across the world, COVID-19 has changed all aspects of our daily lives. The closure of schools; the loss of employment; the social distancing measures - these, and more, have had has vast consequences on all members of society, including those children and their families who were already living in precarious situations.

In a bid to tackle the negative longer-term impact on social and behavioural development in youth, UNODC has been working in Tajikistan to help young people better cope with new realities. Over the past months, a series of training events for teachers, parents and youth have both been rolled out to promote an understanding of the benefits of sport in building life skills and pro-social behaviour.

Building youth resilience through sport, UNODC launches new social outreach campaign in Uzbekistan

Building youth resilience through sport, UNODC launches new social outreach campaign in Uzbekistan

Recognizing the value of sports in advancing peace and development, UNODC's  Regional Office for Central Asia (ROCA) this week launched a new outreach campaign designed to build youth resilience towards drugs, crime and violence. Developed in partnership with Uzbekistan's National Olympic Committee as well as Government authorities and other UN entities, the new campaign - 'I Choose Sport' - is centred around a series of social-focussed videos and features several Uzbek sports champions as positive role models for the country's youth.



This video shows the role of sport in the life of Shakhnoza Mirzaeva, Uzbek world para-canoe champion and holder of a license for the Paralympic Games.

Before a life choice

This video explores a choice that a young man makes in his life and, thanks to the examples set by national sports Champions, who show the positive role sport played in their lives, this sound choice changes his destiny for the better.