UNODC in Kyrgyzstan: "Jash Bulak" Forum Provides Safe Space for Growth, Networking and Communication Among Youth

International Youth Day serves as an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and as an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world's youth. The theme of this year's day, which is celebrated annually on 12 August, was "Safe space for youth".

One example of such a safe space is "Jash Bulak" youth forum , which took place from 6 to 12 August on the southern shore of Issyk-Kul lake for over 200 young people aged 18-28 from all seven provinces of Kyrgyzstan. The summer camp was organized by the State Agency for Youth, Physical Education and Sports in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other partners.

According to Mr. Mirlan Parhanov, Deputy Director of the State Agency for Youth, Physical Education and Sports: "Jash Bulak" is an innovative platform aimed at stimulating youth participation and leadership in community development and promoting healthy life styles and engagement in sports".

"Youth need safe spaces where they can come together, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests, participate in decision making processes and freely express themselves", said Mr. Koen Marquering, Acting Head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in the Kyrgyz Republic.

"Civic spaces enable youth to engage in governance issues; public spaces afford youth the opportunity to participate in sports and other leisure activities in the community; digital spaces help youth interact virtually across borders with everyone; and well- planned physical spaces can help accommodate the needs of diverse youth especially those vulnerable to marginalization or violence», he added.

Along with other UN Agencies and the Red Crescent Society, UNODC staff conducted various interactive master classes on prevention of violent extremism, prevention of crime, violence and drug use among youth through sports ("Line Up, Live Up") and on communication skills.

During the forum, activists from Kyrgyzstan's provinces promoted active youth engagement in the "100 days against trafficking in persons" awareness raising campaign, which is due to start on 10 September 2018. This nationwide anti-human trafficking campaign is run for the second time in Kyrgyzstan with the support of UNODC and other partners.

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 Please contact Vasilina Brazhko (Ms.)

National Communication/PR Officer, UNODC ROCA

Mob. +996 775 98 78 17, E: vasilina.brazhko[at]