On 27 and 28 June 2019 the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Global Firearms Programme in cooperation with University of Milano, Italy, organized an Expert Workshop centered around the Education for Justice (E4J) university level module series on trafficking in firearms.
The workshop was joined by university professors from 11 countries covering five continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North, and South America). These academics also represented a broad array of specializations, including law, criminology, sociology, international relations, and political sciences. In addition to the university professors, the workshop benefited from the inclusion of two participants from postgraduate institutes, the Geneva Centre for Security Policies and the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, which will allow for a wider dissemination of the modules to professionals, politicians, and decision-makers who train at these institutes.
The discussions during the workshop were concentrated on the essential role firearms play as facilitators of violent crimes, tools to perpetrate power and as lucrative trafficking commodities, that fuel armed conflicts, crime and insecurity. The discussions also highlighted how the dissemination of information contained in the E4J firearms modules can contribute to reducing illicit firearms threats and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The workshop managed to enhance the familiarity with the E4J Firearms University Modules; to consider practical approaches to teaching the modules in universities and postgraduate institutes; to strengthen the participants' capacity to teach courses based on the E4J modules, and to support participants in adapting and integrating the modules into existing or new courses.
Participants agreed on the importance of teaching the firearms issues at tertiary level. The professors also engaged in exploring various possibilities of integrating the E4J modules into existing curricula or alternatively into developing new courses or even parallel activities based on these modules.
In addition to the presentation of the E4J Firearms University Modules, the participants were introduced to the broader spectrum of issues covered by E4J and all appreciated the possibility to combine modules from separate topics to develop materials tailored to their student's needs.
The participants were happy to enroll in the E4J network of academics, welcoming the opportunity to connect and join with the growing list of peers from various universities and institutes around the globe.