It is a well-established fact that children learn better and absorb their lessons faster when they are personally involved in applying the fruit of their knowledge, or when they participate in the actual development of tools meant to teach what they are learning.
In an era of prevalent technology for children in homes and schools alike, coding and software development - including for games - are increasingly becoming an important and inescapable step in the education process, helping to enhance student's critical and computational thinking, problem-solving and digital literacy skills, creative thinking and determination.
Around the globe, it is estimated that over 1,500 Model United Nations (MUN) conferences are held every year, involving up to half a million learners from primary school to university. To promote the rule of law to students through this academic simulation phenomenon, UNODC's unique Model UN Guide was the first of its kind to support the integration of crime prevention and criminal justice issues into an MUN when it was launched earlier this year.
To explore the Guide's potential for wider dissemination in established MUN arenas, the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative hosted a three-day training workshop last week, engaging with educators, university student leaders and staff from the numerous UNODC offices around the world.
Educational material is ever more available for all ages online as access to the Internet increases worldwide, allowing children and young adults everywhere to enjoy a wide offer of entertainment and a broad range of educational games. UNODC's own array into that field includes the recent launch of the video game 'Chuka, Break the Silence,' educating young ones on gender-based violence, and the upcoming relaunch of the updated app 'Fair Play,' a game which stimulates ethical decision-making and integrity.
Many experts do believe, however, that real life personal interaction can be more conducive to learning, and that interactive educational games are a perfect medium to impart lessons which are better absorbed.
UNODC's commitment to preventing crime includes promoting a better understanding of crime in the first place, by working with academics and specialists to identify and clarify the concepts within different issues needing dissemination. In the context of the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, a component of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, an expert group meeting met in Doha recently to review five university modules on TIP (out of a total of 14 modules, including seven on the Smuggling of Migrants), for both undergraduate and graduate levels, which lecturers can incorporate into their curriculum.
The linkages between organized crime and terrorism were at the core of two days of discussions last month, bringing select international academics and experts together in Doha to explore and find ways to counter these connections. Organized jointly by the College of Law of the University of Qatar and E4J, the conference aimed at discussing new research and more currently relevant analyses on how terrorists and criminal organizations are increasingly working together. Participants tackled a wide selection of topics, ranging from the interplay between international, regional and national legal frameworks regulating terrorism and organized crime, to various types of linkages between terrorism and organized crime in different regions, and the appropriate policy, legal and judicial responses.