This year, the world marks the 30 th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the most ratified international human rights treaty in history (with 195 countries having signed it) but not necessarily the best known by its intended beneficiaries - all children under the age of 18. In the Convention, 54 articles detail an extensive list of children's rights in various categories, which include the general basic human rights also applicable to adults, and another set of rights to protect them until they reach the age of 18. These sets of rights are commonly classified into the so-called three Ps, namely: provision (such as food, shelter, health care, education); protection (such as from abuse, neglect, exploitation, discrimination); and participation (such as involvement in community, youth activities).
By acting with personal integrity and making ethical choices, everyone has a role in preventing corruption. And while children may not know it, they too have a place in changing the world by making the right, lawful decisions. Therefore, it is critical to instil in young boys and girls the values which build resistance to corruption, teaching them not only about the good and the bad, but also how to identify crime and criminal activities, and to make relevant and effective tools available to all children.
These ideas were at the core of a workshop held by the Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan and UNODC's Regional Office for Central Asia, entitled 'Strengthening the pedagogical potential in the field of education for justice'.
It has long been established that the earlier education starts on certain subjects, such as civic rights and duties, the better children tend to absorb the lessons. UNODC's Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration works tirelessly to promote a culture of lawfulness, in particular to younger generations through the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, and in partnership with established education experts such as UNESCO.
In the latest event they convened jointly to continue advancing this important educational agenda, E4J and UNESCO have kicked off their participation at the 28 th Commission for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice with a main side event focusing on strengthening the rule of law through education, the subject of their joint guide for policymakers published this year.
A particularly colourful delegation visited the Vienna International Centre this week, to present its credentials to Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director and Director-General of the United Nations Office in Vienna. The Zorbs, whose own planet fell into a terrible conflict, travelled to Planet Earth so they could help the children of the world understand the many dangers which can jeopardize peace.
Mr. Fedotov welcomed The Zorbs on their first official visit and accepted their credentials as Ambassadors of Peace, Justice and the Rule of Law. "You have the honour of representing UNODC and leading by example," he told his special guests. "I fully support you in your work."
"You are never too young to lead, and never too old to learn," once remarked the late United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, an observation which many young people around the world are eagerly adopting as a mantra, leading by example and making officials and policymakers take notice.
This month, hundreds of young people gathered in New York City for ECOSOC's (United Nations Economic and Social Council) annual Youth Forum, modelled after the High-Level Political Forum - which reviews the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.