We promote sport as a tool to prevent crime and youth violence

We promote sport as a tool to prevent crime and youth violence
We promote sport as a tool to prevent crime and youth violence

Mexico City, June 25, 2024 – Sport is a powerful tool to build more just and peaceful communities, and is an enabler of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In partnership with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Governments of Italy, Jamaica, Monaco, Qatar and Mexico, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) held the side event “SC:ORE against Crime: Leveraging sport for crime prevention through partnerships” within the framework of the High Level Debate on “Crime Prevention and Sustainable Development through Sport” of the United Nations General Assembly.

The President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Dennis Francis, highlighted that the initiative SC:ORE (Sport against Crime: dissemination, resilience and empowerment) focuses on cooperation with sports actors, offering the best example of how the influence of sport can be used to achieve the SDGs.

For his part, Mr. Ivo Šrámek, President of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CPDJP), recalled that the Member States have expressed the commitment to advance crime prevention, through evidence and incorporation more holistic and multisectoral approaches to promote international cooperation and technical assistance.

On the other hand, the Governments of Jamaica and Italy agreed that sport can promote positive behavior, despite socioeconomic contexts, recognizing that it contributes to the development of life skills, self-confidence, creativity, discipline and social transformation.

Within the side event, a panel discussion was held, in which Ms. Georgia Dimitropoulou, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Section (CPCJS) of UNODC, highlighted five key points in the development of interventions that include sport for crime prevention:

  • Design and deliver evidence-based programs with targeted approaches.
  • Consider the value of non-sports components and ensure the transfer of knowledge and skills.
  • Prioritize capacity development for coaches and frontline professionals.
  • Guarantee access to sport, particularly for less privileged young people.
  • Accelerate the sustainability impact of sports-based programs.

Ms. Maurya Couvares, National Director of Laureus, showed how the activities of sports-based programs influence at different levels, from the individual to the social, and impact crime prevention.

For her part, Ms. Eunice Rendón, Director of Red Viral in Mexico, highlighted that the program Knock out: Don’t throw in the towel ha contributed in Mexico to the process of social reintegration of people deprived of liberty.

“Sport combined with emotional care and life skills has proven to be a useful tool for peace, resilience and social reintegration,” he said.

The program SCO:RE is a joint initiative of UNODC and the IOC to support the effective use of sport in the prevention of violence and crime, and enhance its role and that of the sector in building peaceful and safe communities, contributing to the achievement of SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Solid Institutions. In line with the IOC strategy, Olympism 365Mexico and Senegal are the first two implementing countries of this initiative worldwide.

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