Public managers from Vitória, in Brazil, dicuss drug and violence policies during UN workshop

3 July, 2012 - Social workers, psychologists, nurses, teachers and other staff working in direct care at public facilities in the city of Vitória, in the state of Espirito Santo, Brazil, debated for two days related policies to drug use and violence. Organized by UNODC, the course "Public policies in contexts of violence associated with alcohol and other drugs" was held on 28 and 29 June, in the Reference Center for Social Assistance and Resistance, in the region of Grande São Pedro, in Vitória. The training is part of the Joint UN Program Security and Citizenship, implemented since 2011.

The course brought together about 30 officials, representatives from the departments of Citizenship and Human Rights (SEMCID), Strategic Management (SEGES), Health (SEMSU), Education (SEME) and Social Assistance (SEMES), and members of the community and the Municipal Public Defender. Mediated by Vera Ros, the training promoted a methodology for group work and discussions with educational materials developed by UNODC, in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV / AIDS (UNAIDS) and the National STD and AIDS Department of the Ministry of Health.

The methodology was praised by participants. "The course is very dynamic and has a good interaction of all participants," said Juliana Alves de Moura, coordinator of the CRAS of Resistance. Tatiana Oliveira, a psychologist at the Municipal Transitional Shelter Home for Children and Youth in Vitoria, outlined the approach of institutions like the UN and the Ministry of Health with professionals working in situ. "When participating in such activities, we realize that there are people who study and investigate these complex issues which we closely work with every day. It's like a message that we are not alone," she reflected.

The Joint Programme Security with Citizenship - The workshop "Public Policies in contexts of violence related to alcohol and other drugs" is one of the actions undertaken by UNODC, in the context of the Joint United Nations Programme "Security with Citizenship: preventing violence and strengthening citizenship with a focus on children and young people in some vulnerable communities in Brazil", developed in three cities - Lauro de Freitas (BA), Contagem (MG) and Vitória (ES).

The joint programme aims to develop measures to prevent violence that affects children, adolescents and young adults between 10 and 24 years who live in vulnerable situation, by encouraging voluntary compliance with standards of behavior and self-promoting mechanisms of social control.

Actions are being carried out in specific geographic areas, selected through a public notice, which received over 82 entries from various metropolitan areas of the country. They are: District Itinga in Lauro de Freitas (BA), Western National in Contagem (MG) and the Administrative Region of São Pedro, in Vitória (ES).

During 2011 comprehensive diagnoses were made in order to identify the main problems of violence, crime and communitarian cohabitation in each city. The program is currently in the construction phase of participatory local security plans.

Financed by the Global Fund for the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, the Security and Citizenship Program count on six United Nations bodies: the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the 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 also features the partnership of the Federal Government through the Ministry of Justice. In Vitória, the Department of Citizenship and Human Rights is also a partner to the program.

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