Strengthening Youth Crime and Drug use Prevention through OSCE-Organized Workshop in Nur-Sultan

On 17 March 2022, a first need assessment workshop on strengthening youth crime and drug use prevention took place in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. The workshop was organized by the Transnational Threats Department and the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities in cooperation with the OSCE Academy in Bishkek.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Alexander Wolters, Director of the OSCE Academy, welcomed participants of the event. “The OSCE Academy in Bishkek studies the development of systems of education in Central Asia and looks at challenges that young people face when they try to build up their livelihoods. We are concerned that lasting instabilities in Central Asia make it difficult for young people to make the right choices and improve situations. With that in mind, we hope our project will give them a little bit more chances to create good livelihoods and future developments”, highlighted Dr. Wolters. Karbozova Meruert, Chief Consultant of the Prevention Service, Anti-corruption Agency, presented recent developments in the field of youth crime and drug use. Project managers Denise Mazzolani and Eni Gjergji emphasized that it is vital to work with the young generation in order to effectively combat crime, drug use and corruption.

During the event, UNODC experts introduced the UNODC Education4Justice and Global Programme on Prevention materials. Such material can be used by teachers, professors and civil society representatives to teach youth the true dangers and negative impacts of organized crime, corruption and drug use.

The workshop provided a platform for representatives of the Anti-corruption Agency,  Department for Combating Drug Crime of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Health, National Center for Public Health, Committee on Youth and Family Affairs of the Ministry of Information and Social Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Academy of Law Enforcement Agencies of the Republic of Kazakhstan Prosecutor's Office, as well as professors, teachers and civil society representatives to discuss current youth crime prevention initiatives, challenges, best practices and needs in Kazakhstan.

The event will be followed by a two-day needs-assessment workshop aimed at identifying areas where teachers, professors and civil society representatives require further training in the field of youth crime prevention and on how to adequately educate youth on the threats of organized crime, corruption, cybercrime and drug use in April.

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 extra-budgetary cross-dimensional project is funded by Germany.