Promoting the rule of law through Global Citizenship Education


The UNODC/UNESCO Partnership

Addressing today's challenges to peace, justice and the rule of law is of vital concern for many societies across the world, notably in response to recent backlashes in this field that undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms. To promote the rule of law through education, UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) initiative partnered with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The UNODC/UNESCO partnership "Global Citizenship Education for the Rule of Law: Doing the right thing" will help education professionals design and implement educational interventions that equip learners with the knowledge, attitudes and skills to constructively and responsibly engage in society. This includes upholding the principle of justice and helping build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Under this partnership, the two organizations jointly developed the following publications:

  • A Guide for Policymakers on Educating for the Rule of Law: The document provides guidance to primary and secondary level policymakers and other education professionals on how the education sector can fulfil its important role in building just and peaceful societies.
  • Two Handbooks for Teachers , one for primary and secondary schools, to support their efforts in educating students on the rule of law and their role in society as agents of change.


By strengthening the capacities of policymakers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers and educators, the partnership aims to empower learners to engage in society as constructive and ethically responsible agents of change, supporting justice and strong institutions. This, in turn, will enhance societies' resilience to crime, violence and corruption thereby promoting the rule of law and fostering a culture of lawfulness.

A set of tools and activities were developed under the partnership, pooling both organizations' expertise on education, the rule of law and crime prevention. These include guidance material for policymakers, toolkits for primary and secondary level educators, and capacity-building workshops based on the developed resources. In addition, the partnership will further promote the prevention of violent extremism through education.


UNODC and UNESCO regularly collaborate on activities promoting rule of law education. For example, in December 2020, UNESCO co-organized several sessions of the UNODC's E4J Global Dialogue Series. The following video on citizenship education was produced in the framework of a session entitled "Working for Just Societies in Contexts where the Rule of Law is not always respected: How can Education be Transformational?":

Video: Ambassadeurs d’expression citoyenne

English subtitles available


These activities are being implemented in the framework of UNESCO's ongoing work relating to Global Citizenship Education and are designed to support the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, a component of UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. The partnership directly contributes to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals 4 (in particular target 4.7) calling for quality education, and Goal 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.