Education for Justice (E4J), an initiative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), was developed as part of UNODC’s Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. It is aimed at building a culture of lawfulness among children and youth through the provision of age-appropriate educational materials on topics related to criminal justice, crime prevention and the rule of law and the integration of those materials into the curricula of all education levels.
In 2017, E4J created a resource guide to incorporate crime prevention, criminal justice and other rule of law aspects into Model United Nations (MUN) Conferences. At the secondary and tertiary education levels, MUN conferences stand out as successful initiatives to promote education on the United Nations and its mandates. This is done through the active involvement and leadership of students, as well as the teachers who supervise them.
UNODC, through its Regional Office for South Asia (UNODC-ROSA), has partnered with Worldview Education to promote E4J among schools in the region, particularly through its impact initiative - MUN for India. According to Worldview, over 800 schools in India participate in or host Model United Nations conferences every year and they believe that these schools and their students can be ambassadors for taking forward the SDGs agenda within schools.
Reflecting on the importance of students and teachers in strengthening the global goals, Ms Suruchi Pant, Deputy Representative of UNODC-ROSA said, “I believe that change for a better tomorrow is only possible if it is championed by young leaders. In this direction, Model United Nations serves as an exciting platform for Teachers, Educators and Students to promote basic human values of respect, compassion and ethics through the promotion of the SDGs. UNODC calls upon the youth and children of South Asia to join our efforts to make this region safer and peaceful for all.”
Taking this agenda forward, UNODC and Worldview are hosting a set of roundtable discussions & workshops across Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore from 3-7 September to launch the E4J initiative in India and discuss its effective implementation with school Principals, MUN Educators and Students. Mr Gilberto Duarte, Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice Officer from UNODC’s Head Office in Vienna, Mr. Samarth Pathak, Communications Officer at UNODC ROSA and Mr Sampreeth Reddy, CEO Worldview Education will lead these roundtables & workshops.
Welcoming the partnership with UNODC, Sampreeth Reddy, CEO Worldview Education said, “We deeply believe in the power of the global MUN community to be a positive force to bring about impactful change in society. It’s a vast network of extremely committed students, educators and schools. Through our initiatives, it’s been our endeavor to bring together stakeholders across the spectrum that can catalyze this process of taking MUN from simulation to impact, ‘Act2Impact’ as we call it. We are looking excited about this association with the UNODC”
As part of its MUN for India initiative in 2018, Worldview Education will host 25 MUN’s in 25 cities. These MUN’s will witness the participation of over 6000 students from 250+ schools. In each of these MUN’s, two of the committee agendas will be designed to further the goals and the mission of the UNODC’s Education 4 Justice Initiative. Officials from UNODC-ROSA along with Worldview’s MUN trainers will ensure that all students and educators of participating schools are well prepared and adequately trained to educate all participants about issues such as Crime Prevention, Criminal Justice, Corruption, Trafficking that the initiative focuses on.
Emphasising the link between education and SDGs, Mr Gilberto Antonio Duarte Santos, UNODC’s Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice Officer, said, “Model United Nations provides a great opportunity for youth to learn about the SDGs and the mandates of the United Nations. It is inspiring to see how Indian youth are eager to learn and take action. UNODC is committed to working with youth and educators to promote security, justice and peace in South Asia.”
Schools that are interested in implementing the E4J initiative in their schools may reach out to UNODC-ROSA (www.unodc.org/southasia) or Worldview Education (www.worldview.global).