New Delhi/September 18, 2017-Seeking to build cooperation with the Government of India in the area of education, the UNODC Regional Representative for South Asia, Mr. Sergey Kapinos called upon the Honourable Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Mr. Prakash Javadekar in New Delhi last week.
During the discussion, UNODC offered its technical support and expertise to the Government of India in combating drug use in educational institutions and enabling children and the youth to grow healthy and safe through value-based education and life skills. The UNODC Deputy Representative for South Asia, Ms. Suruchi Pant and UNODC Communications Officer, Mr. Samarth Pathak also attended the meeting.
"For UNODC, educational institutions are key platforms to engage children and the youth on the various facets of drug use and the rule of law. We propose to work with the Ministry of Human Resource Development on Drug Use Prevention in Schools and Colleges through evidence-based family skills training programmes and by implementing the UNODC Education for Justice Initiative, which is based on the UN Doha Declaration," Mr. Kapinos informed the Honourable Minister.
Mr. Javadekar expressed positive interest towards the proposed initiatives and assured necessary support in cooperation with UNODC South Asia.
In order to educate and sensitise students on drug use, health, gender violence, value-based leadership and life skills, Mr. Kapinos also offered UNODC's support to the Ministry in curriculum development and content creation; capacity building and training of teachers, students and parents; awareness campaigns and sensitization workshops for students; and special advocacy initiatives as part of extracurricular activities and vocational education.
Evidence-based family skills training programmes in educational institutions have been found to be the most effective way to prevent substance use among children and adolescents. These programmes target the whole family and offer skills-building for parents on monitoring and supervision of children's activities, communication and setting age appropriate limits. Evidence-based drug education offers personal, social, resistance and communication skills, as well as information about the short-term effects of drugs through specialized sessions offered by trained experts.
The Education for Justice Initiative is a four-year UNODC initiative that aims to prevent youth crime through sports-based programmes and life skills training, support the integration of crime prevention and the rule of law into all levels of education, prevent gender-based violence through sensitization, strengthen judicial integrity and prevent corruption in the justice system.
(This story first appeared on www.unodc.org/southasia)
(Samarth Pathak is a New Delhi-based public advocacy specialist with a keen interest in human rights, international relations, politics and SDGs. He is currently associated with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime as Communications Officer for South Asia. His writings have appeared in The Guardian, Reuters Alertnet, Dawn, The Kashmir Times, Hardnews and The Asian Age. Views expressed are personal. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.)