On 9 March 2022, the Transnational Threats Department and the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities in co-operation with the OSCE Academy in Bishkek organized a workshop on “Strengthening Youth Crime and Drug use Prevention” in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Alexander Wolters, Director of the OSCE Academy, provided brief information on the activities and MA Programmes of the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. Dr. Wolters highlighted that the Academy has been researching youth and the situation of youth in Central Asia. "Results of these studies also was one of the reasons to decide to join our efforts in this project to tackle such challenges [youth crime, drug use, corruption]", - stressed Dr. Wolters.
Hans-Ullrich Ihm, Senior Project Officer - OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan, presented the activities of the Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan in preventing youth crime and drug use.
Akbar Tagaev, Head of the Department of Spiritual and Moral Education of Youth at the Ministry of Public Education, highlighted the importance of the project in strengthening youth attitudes against drug use, drug trafficking and corruption, and also expressed readiness to cooperate in implementing the project.
Project managers Denise Mazzolani and Eni Gjergji emphasized that only through youth’s active participation in crime prevention efforts, lasting community resilience against organized crime, corruption and drug use can be built and sustained, and stability and security across the region ensured.
Representatives of the Ministry of Public Education, Youth Affairs Agency, Academy of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as school teachers, university professors and civil society experts attended the workshop. The participants actively took part in discussions including sharing best practices, challenges and capacity needs in the field of youth crime prevention. UNODC experts introduced the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Education4Justice and Global Programme on Prevention materials, which provide teachers, professors and civil society representatives with guidance on how to educate youth on the dangers of organized crime, corruption and drug use.
The workshop was held in the framework of the new OSCE-wide and cross-dimensional project “Enhancing youth crime and drug use prevention through education on legality and awareness campaigns addressing threats of organized crime and corruption”. The project aims to prevent transnational organized crime, corruption and drug use, by complementing criminal justice efforts and promoting respect for the rule of law through education.
This event will be followed by an exercise in April 2022, which will identify the needs of teachers, professors and civil society representatives to educate youth on preventing organized crime, corruption and drug use. Moreover, it is planned to conduct a workshop on Strengthening Youth Crime and Drug use Prevention in Kazakhstan and needs assessment workshop in Tajikistan in March and April 2022.
This extra-budgetary cross-dimensional project is funded by Germany.