UNODC promotes event with young people at the UN Crime Congress 

Brasília, 8 March 2021 - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) organized the meeting "Promoting the Rule of Law through youth engagement", an event parallel to the 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Kyoto, Japan. 

Organized in partnership with the organization MUN Impact, the event was attended by young leaders from various parts of the world who, inspired by the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative and the UNODC Youth Ambassadors Programme in Brazil, sought to promote the rule of law and crime prevention in their communities.

 The participants discussed the main challenges identified in youth engagement towards the 2030 Agenda, the different ways in which young people are impacted by crime and violence in their communities, and the possibilities of strengthening local and global youth engagement to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The role of Education to instrumentalise youth initiatives was also widely discussed throughout the session. For Aira Cardoso, participant from Amapá and UNODC's youth ambassador, "it is fundamental to ensure that knowledge about the Rule of Law is accessible and democratic to the young population, as well as widely disseminated throughout the social fabric".

Kudzai Mukaratirwa, Zimbabwe's leader in youth development and gender-based violence prevention projects in East Africa, highlighted that the lack of knowledge about laws, institutions and social services in his community represents a challenge for youth engagement in strengthening the rule of law. Kudzai also emphasised the impact of corruption as a central factor in the mistrust between youth and institutions.

For Rahmatullah Hamdard, Afghan founder of Hope for Education and Leadership in Afghanistan (HELA), "youth must be included in dialogues and decision-making processes.

The meeting also highlighted the positive impact of technological innovations that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the mobilization in networks among young people, who remain motivated to act actively in the global outreach of the 2030 Agenda, despite the multiple new challenges.

Rodrigo Araújo, the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative country coordinator and moderator of the session said that the moment is  of "celebration of the achievements made" by the youth in promoting the rule of law. In his opinion, young people have become "active agents of change and social impact, and no longer victims and observers of the negative consequences of violence, crime and the absence of a culture of lawfulness".


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