An often unconsidered reality: organized crime may be impacting our daily lives more than we can imagine. As criminal groups join ever more complex networks spanning the globe, crimes become increasingly transnational and diversified, and the ways they reap profits are becoming more creative as well. So what can we do to help stop this? Education and awareness-raising are of course key and to highlight the importance of this a side event at the United Nations General Assembly was held today in New York as part of UNODC's E4J initiative. Aimed at shedding light on this issue, showcasing the invaluable role of education, and highlighting to the public the type of ways in which they can reduce their exposure to organized crime, the event followed this week's High Level Discussion on Transnational Organized Crime in the General Assembly.
UNODC, the Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Network (ICRN) and Sciences-Po Paris held a two-day academic event bringing together over 80 researchers and academics from some 50 countries to look at how to develop effective policies to tackle corruption. Among others, the event aimed to better understand the role of corruption in post-conflict societies, the historical roots of corruption as well as the role of big data to help combat the problem.
The Education for Justice (E4J) initiative took part in a discussion in Geneva on the role of human rights education (HRE) in advancing the Education 2030 Agenda. The Seminar, entitled " How Can Human Rights Education and Training be Promoted through the Education 2030 Agenda, especially Target 4.7?" brought together key United Nations entities for a round-table on their respective education programmes. Aside from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the other UN bodies included the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The Seminar focused on synergies between the various education programmes and how the Education 2030 Agenda addresses human rights education. In his opening remarks, Ambassador Maurizio Serra, Permanent Representative of Italy, highlighted the work of the States Platform on Human Rights Education and Training, which is co-chaired with Brazil, in bringing cross-regional perspectives into human rights education.
As part of its Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, UNODC is seeking to promote values among primary-level school children and in this context held a workshop in May at the Carmen Sole Bosch school on the outskirts of Panama City. Over 230 children from pre-kindergarten to second grade took part in the one-day workshop during which integrity, honesty and ethics was taught at this early - and highly formative - age.
Run by UNODC Panama, and supported by E4J, the workshop revolved around the character duo Dogui (a dog) and Dengoso (a mosquito), two characters that were created by UNODC's Panama Office. The former represents the positive: Dogui goes to school, cares about others and advocates the values which are key to a safer and more just world; Dengoso, on the other hand, is an antagonist and a negative influence: constantly trying to persuade Dogui to follow the less honest path by lying and cheating.
With the aim of developing innovative solutions to address corruption, youth representatives and students from some 13 Pacific Island countries and territories gathered this past week for the Pacific Youth Anti-Corruption Innovation Lab held in Nadi, Fiji. Held over three days, the event also considered how education can best be used as a tool to foster the culture of integrity and lawfulness and ultimately counter corruption.
"The idea of the Anti-Corruption Innovation Lab is to provide a platform for young leaders from the region to get together and brainstorm creative approaches to increase youth involvement in the area of anti-corruption, thereby contributing to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 16 targets in the Pacific", noted UNODC's Regional Anti-Corruption Adviser, Maria Adomeit.