The Education for Justice Initiative

MUN & Education for Justice
Faiq Raedaya

Hundreds of thousands of young people participate in Model United Nations (MUN) simulations across the globe every year. With a wide outreach to students at all education levels, MUN serves as an accessible platform to learn about the UN.

As a part of its Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is looking to tap into the power of MUN to educate students on the concept of the rule of law, and to encourage discussion on dealing with this issue on an international scale.

From 24 to 26 January 2017, UNODC has attended and participated in The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) conference organized by the Qatar Foundation in Doha, Qatar.

The Doha Declaration (A/Res/70/174), adopted at the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, emphasizes the importance of educating children and the youth to promote a law-enforcing culture and prevent crime and corruption.

To support the declaration, The Education for Justice initiative – under the Global Programme for the implementation of the Doha Declaration – was established to produce and distribute educational materials in UNODC-mandated areas of crime prevention and criminal justice across the primary, secondary and tertiary education levels.

Online tools and academic resource will be made available to access free of charge, whereas workshops, conferences and symposia will be organized for teachers and academics to educate and exchange ideas and research.

UNODC was also invited to attend an informal Q&A session with the accompanying teachers. The session served to present the E4J initiative and to receive the assembled teachers’ feedback and comments on it. The teachers welcomed the initiative, highlighting that tools developed by the United Nations would help to address the often-sensitive topics that relate to UNODC’s mandate in the classroom.

The initiative covers several topics of UNODC’s mandate. Primary-level education helps to develop basic skills for solving basic moral and ethical dilemmas. Materials developed will promote these basic values, most importantly integrity and tolerance.

Secondary and tertiary-level education by E4J works to support academics covering organized crime, corruption, terrorism prevention, cybercrime, criminal justice, trafficking of firearms, trafficking in persons, and the smuggling of migrants, as well as on integrity and ethics.