Brazilian youth is the focus of the first partnership between UNODC and the private sector

August 31, 2010 - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime - UNODC signs a cooperation agreement with a private sector company to disseminate a program aimed at reducing young mortality due to violent causes. The contributions will be over US$ 1 million.

Being young in Brazil means to live at risk. Out of every 100,000 young Brazilians between 15 and 24 years of age, 43 die from accidents, crimes or suicide caused by firearms. The data is in the report "Map of Violence", held in 65 countries by the Organization of Ibero-American States.

Willing to reduce the vulnerability of the public to violence, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Brazilian company Grupo Caixa Seguros sign in Brasilia, agreement to disseminate social technologies and expand the scope of the program "Youth of Expression" - a private social investment that seeks to promote the health of young people between 18 and 29 years, through the reduction in mortality from violent causes. This is the first time that UNODC signs an agreement with a private institution in Brazil.

"In communities where the pilot project was implemented (and Ceilândia Sobradinho II, both in the Federal District), the results were very positive in promoting health and reducing the vulnerabilities of young people to violence. These two areas are priorities for the work of UNODC in Brazil and the Southern Cone", says Bo Mathiasen, UNODC representative for Brazil and the Southern Cone.

The "Youth of Expression" program was created in 2007 by Grupo Caixa Seguros, which selected young people as its priority public in their private social investment projects. "We believe that, if properly assisted and supported in their training process, young people have the potential to actively contribute to the growth of Brazil", says the company's president, Thierry Claudon.

The agreement provides that the insurer will invest US $ 1,227,180 in the program until 2012. UNODC will be responsible for managing the program, introducing topics of drug use prevention and access to Justice, encouraging exchanges of methodology. The ultimate objective of the program is to transform the intervention model a in public policy.

During the first two years (2007-2009), "Youth of Expression" assisted more than 300 youngsters from vulnerable communities in the Federal District. The social impact of the program was established in 2009 by a scientific evaluation that verified the knowledge, attitudes and practices of the young participants of the project both before entering the program and after a year of participation.

The study revealed that after that period, these young people came to adopt safer behaviors, reacting less to provocations and by taking a more enterprising attitude, which made them less vulnerable to violence.

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