UNODC stands with young people to promote meaningful youth engagement

Vienna (Austria), 12 August 2021 - Across its programmatic work, UNODC stands with young people to promote meaningful youth engagement to enhance the rule of law and promote healthy behaviours. Indeed, empowering young people is one of the cross-cutting commitments of UNODC’s 2021-2025 Strategy as well as the organization’s Strategic Vision for Africa 2030.

This International Youth Day, here are just a few of the ways UNODC is working with, and for, young people across the globe: 

Drug use prevention

Through youth education, engagement, innovation and entrepreneurial solutions, UNODC seeks the active participation of youth in the fields of drugs use prevention and health promotion, empowering young people to create tomorrow’s world.

The very first issue of the digital UNODC Youth Magazine on Substance Use Prevention highlights the ways in which the engagement of young people at the local and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes in substance use prevention and health promotion.

The UNODC Youth Forum

The UNODC Youth Forum 2021 participants planned and created the Youth Magazine, despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, to raise awareness around effective and evidence-based drug use prevention and make this topic understandable to everyone.

The annual UNODC Youth Forum, organized by the UNODC Youth Initiative in the broader context of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, aims to strengthen the voice of young people and enhance their agency, reach and impact, as reflected in the United Nations Youth Strategy. For this purpose, the UNODC Youth Forum brings together a global community of active youth leaders in the field of substance use prevention to actively engage with and understand science-based and effective substance use prevention.

Jasmine Hazel, a youth leader from Malaysia shares her experience: “It was definitely an accomplishment for us youth coming from different backgrounds, differing perspectives and degrees of exposure on this issue to manage to come together and created a monumental magazine with one objective and purpose in mind: to prevent substance misuse through effective prevention.”

The Education for Justice (E4J) Initiative.

Education is key to empower youth to become positive agents of change. UNODC’s Education for Justice (E4J) initiative seeks to prevent crime and promote the rule of law through education activities. These activities help educators teach the next generation to better understand and address problems that can undermine the rule of law and encourage students to actively engage in their communities and future professions in this regard.

Youth Ambassadors Initiative

In Brazil, UNODC will be hosting a series of events to celebrate International Youth Day. The organization will host the 2nd National Meeting of the Youth Ambassadors Programme, with 125 young leaders from four Brazilian states. At the event, participants will discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on meaningful youth engagement. Additionally, there will be a ‘Project Showcase’ that will be broadcasted live through social media, highlighting twelve social impact projects demonstrating how young people in Brazil are contributing towards the 2030 Agenda and SDG 16.

UNODC is proud to work with, and for, young people to foster safe and healthy communities across the globe.

Further information

The UNODC Youth Magazine on Substance Use Prevention

UNODC Youth page

UNODC Youth Initiative

E4J initiative

UNODC Strategy

Africa Strategic Vision


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