The Power of Magnet: The UNODC Border Liaison Offices support information campaign on the borders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan

According to the 2018 World Drug Report, drug use and the associated harm are the highest among young people compared to older people. The research suggests early-to late adolescence is a critical risk period for the initiation of substance use with cannabis as a common drug of choice for young people. Young people use drugs not only at the recreational settings and nightclubs, but also on the streets using inhalants to cope with their difficult circumstances.

Mr. Yury Fedotov, the UNODC Executive Director, in his statement for the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (International Day) said, "by breaking the chain of social, neurobiological and psychological factors and inequalities that can increase susceptibility to drug use disorders, we can help young people to grow up healthy and safe." Most importantly, he added "when we are talking about the lives and futures of the next generation, prevention is truly better than cure. By listening to the needs of children and young people, prevention can contribute to their safety, health and well-being, and enable them to realize their potential." 

"LISTEN FIRST - Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe" is the theme of this year's International Day aiming to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science and is thus an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.

Supporting the Listen First campaign and aiming to attract more families of Central Asia to building strong bonds and understanding, the BLO initiative of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia organized an awareness raising campaign on the Border-Crossing Points (BCP) of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - at "Oybek" BCP on the Uzbek-Tajik border, "Fatikhobad" BCP on the Tajik-Uzbek border, "Dostuk" and "Dustlik" BCP on the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border, "Kordai" and "Akjol" BCPs on the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border.

During the campaign, the UNODC team and law enforcement officers serving at the BCPs had placed information stands at the BCPs and disseminated magnets among people crossing the borders with the words: BE A FRIEND TO YOUR CHILD! - Close trustful relationship in the family reduces drug use by adolescent by 20 % - be a friend to your child! #ListenFirst. In other words, the magnets have become little messengers of Listen First campaign to the children and parents who crossed the borders.  Surprised and pleased to see such a campaign, for the first time to receive a colorful magnet as a gift from customs and border guard's officers and UNODC representatives, people asked questions about the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

"On average the "Dostuk" BCP is crossed by around 15 000 people a day" - says Mr. Jalbiyev, Colonel, the Head of the "Dostuk" BCP. "We are implementing the information campaign jointly with UNODC at the BCPs where Border Liaison Offices are established" - he added.

Thousands of people cross the borders at "Fatikhobad", "Dostuk", "Oybek", "Dustlik", Akjol", "Kordai" border-crossing points daily. The law enforcement officers serving at the borders assisted in disseminating 12 000 magnets that people will store on the fridges at their homes.  

The border guards and customs control officers of above mentioned BCPs also displayed banners with useful information in Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik and Uzbek languages about risks that people face when crossing the borders and threats that children can be exposed to in their everyday lives. The banners provided useful tips about how the person can protect him/herself from illicit drug trafficking when crossing the border. In addition to the information, one may read in the banners: "Adolescents very often start using drugs out of curiosity or the desire to be accepted by peers."

"We believe that with this little magnet we are sending a positive message to thousands of families and motiving the parents to listen to the needs of children and young people with all their heart and spend more time with them." - noted Mr. Yusuf Kurbonov, the UNODC International Programme Coordinator at the completion of the campaign.

The information campaign took place from 20-28 June 2018 in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and was implemented within the framework of the «Countering the trafficking of Afghan opiates via the northern route by enhancing the capacity of key border crossing points (BCPs) and through the establishment of Border Liaison Offices (BLOs)» component of the Programme for Central Asia 2015-2019, and funded by the International Narcotics and Law Enforce­ment Affairs of the U.S. Department of State (INL).

For more information:

World Drug Day

Listen First Campaign

World Drug Report


 For more information

Please, contact Mr. Yusuf Kurbanov,

International Programme Coordinator, UNODC ROCA

Tel.: '+ 996 312 32 17 32

E-mail: yusuf.kurbonov[at]