Preventing crime and violence against children is one of the key thematic focus areas of the UNODC Global Programme to End Violence Against Children. Prevention efforts should be integrated into broader development and rule of law reform efforts. Under the present Global Programme to End Violence against Children, UNODC takes a preventative approach towards crime and violence against children by supporting States to create and enhance a protective environment framework for all children, and to ensure that justice systems are well equipped to prevent and respond to violence against children. It also focuses on ensuring better access to justice for children, reducing recourse to deprivation of liberty and promoting child-sensitive investigation and court procedures, non-custodial sanctions, restorative justice and diversion, recovery and reintegration of children and prevention of abuse and exploitation.
There is often the wrong perception that there is a dichotomy between preserving public safety and promoting child rights. However, UNODC champions the approach that there is no dichotomy between these two goals, as they are both mutually reinforcing and should be pursued concomitantly with a view to achieving long-lasting peace and security.
UNODC works with Member States to enhance their capacities to develop comprehensive prevention strategies based on:
1. Political will to ensure national ownership of prevention strategies and interventions.
2. A participatory approach to policy development, including a focus on the participation of children (where appropriate and abiding by confidentiality and data protection laws and regulations).
3. The promotion of values of inclusion, dialogue and mutual respect.
4. A multidisciplinary and coordinated approach to avoid fragmentation and duplication of efforts.
5. Capacity-building of institutions and actors involved in preventative efforts.
6. A proactive role of the justice system in prevention efforts, including through the development of effective legislation in the area.
7. In-depth situation analysis to develop evidence-based and effective prevention policies.
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