UNODC Empowers Youth to Promote Rule of Law in Central Asia

UNODC is committed to empowering youth and ensuring youth engagement and networking to promote health, wellbeing, safety, integrity, and the rule of law in Central Asian countries.

UNODC recently participated in a World Conference on “Engaging Youth in Global Action”, which was held in hybrid format in Tashkent on 12-13 August 2021. This event gathered 500+ youth and other representatives from more than 30 countries. As part of the two-day conference, UNODC shared its experience with initiatives to connect young people and empower them to become active in their schools, communities and youth groups for drug and crime prevention and promotion of health, safety and social cohesion. 


Model United Nations

Model United Nations (MUN) exercises offer young people a stimulating way to learn about the United Nations and to develop essential communication skills.  UNODC has developed a guide to support MUN organizers who wish to integrate crime prevention and criminal justice issues into their simulations.

 "Education plays a crucial role in promoting a culture that supports the rule of law. That’s why we work with children, with young people, with parents, with teachers, so that the next generation understands and addresses problems that can undermine the rule of law. This is where the Model UN comes in", says Mr. Koen Marquering, UNODC Programme Coordinator for Central Asia.

Crime prevention and criminal justice are prominent topics during the Tashkent International MUN, which is held annually attracting students from across Central Asia and the Caucasus.

“It is a pleasure for UNODC to work with schools and universities in Uzbekistan and other Central Asian countries to promote MUN. MUN helps build important life skills, such as critical thinking, leadership, public speaking and negotiation. This contributes to youth development and motivates youth to actively engage in their communities and future professions.”, Marquering added.

Youth for social harmony in the Fergana Valley

At the event, UNODC presented key results of the joint UN (UNDP-UNODC-UNESCO) project 'Youth for Social Harmony in the Fergana Valley' funded by the UN Peacebuilding fund. This project has been piloting several new youth initiatives, such as legal clinics at youth centres in the Fergana Valley, sports-based life skills training, a youth summer camp and “voice of girls” platforms to promote youth engagement and leadership.

Marquering: “Legal clinics help young women and men to navigate key stages of their life. The lawyers and student volunteers at the clinics provide information about legislation and applicable procedures to access social services, personal identification and other documents, property and land rights or other issues they may face.”


Opening of a media center in the Fergana Valley is planned, as well as the launch of an online youth portal where youth can access relevant information and receive necessary support.

Central Asia Youth Network 

UNODC is currently preparing the ground for the establishment of a regional network of youth organisations to work together on issues that fall under UNODC’s mandate.

National events are planned in each Central Asian country to establish national youth networks. These networks would help inform youth about UNODC mandates and empower them to engage in policy dialogues and decision-making processes on drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism issues.


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