United Nations present Joint Programme "Security and Citizenship" in International Seminar

November 24, 2011 - In Brazil, as in other countries, a major concern for public safety is the high homicide rate among young people. In Brazil, for example, while in the adult population above 24 years of age the murder rate in the country reaches 1.8%, homicides among young people account for 39.7% of deaths. These are national averages. In states such as Alagoas, Bahia, Pernambuco, Espirito Santo and the Federal District, more than half of all deaths among young people are caused by homicide.

Against this backdrop of violence, public security experts worldwide agree that one of the essential measures to change this reality is crime prevention.

The issue was highlighted at the International Seminar on Democratic Safety and Governance, held on 24 and 25 November in the Auditorium of the Institute of Biological Sciences, in the University of Brasilia. On Friday, six UN agencies present the "Security with Citizenship: preventing violence and strengthening citizenship, focusing on children, adolescents and youth in vulnerable communities in Brazil."

Among the activities to prevent violence among young people under the Joint Programme is the implementation of the International Award for Young People, an international program launched in 1956, present in 132 countries, of which 7 million young people worldwide have participated.

Under the United Nations' Joint Programme, the International Award for Young People, funded by UNODC, began to be implemented on the 16th and 17th November. To mark the beginning of activities, representatives of UNODC and the International Award for Young People visited Contagem, Lauro de Freitas and Victoria and formalized the partnership with the nongovernmental organizations that will implement the Award. The visit also marked the beginning of the selection of local leaders, which must be undertaken by the community. The idea is that over 2000 young people are involved in the three cities.

The International Award for Young People will be implemented by the AVSI Foundation in Contagem, the Association of Educational and Cultural Development of Bahia - ADESC in Lauro de Freitas, Bahia, and by the Brazilian Center of Development - CEBRADES in Vitoria, Espirito Santo.

Partner to UNODC since 2009, the International Award for Young People is a self-directed program that seeks to reduce violence that affects youngsters between 14 and 25 years through the voluntary compliance of rules, self-regulation of behavior and promoting social control mechanisms.

The main innovation of the method of the Award is that there aren´t unique rules to participate. The challenge is defined by each participant, who sets its own goals and monitors its progress. In each situation, participants compete with themselves and challenge their own limits.

Throughout the program, youngsters have the opportunity to participate in various activities within the four main axes of the Youth Award - (i) voluntary service (ii) undertake an adventurous journey (iii) the discovery and development of personal skills and ( iv) to promote sport and physical activity.

The Security with Citizenship Programme is an initiative funded by the Fund for the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, composed of six bodies of the UN system: United Nations Development Programme - UNDP; the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime - UNODC; United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - UNESCO; the International Labour Organization - ILO; the United Nations Human Settlements Programme - UN-HABITAT; and the United Nations Children's Fund - UNICEF. The programme is developed in partnership with the Federal Government of Brazil through the Ministry of Justice.

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