Line Up, Live Up! UNODC launches awareness raising campaign on the power of sports as a tool for crime prevention

  • The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in partnership with the State Agency for Youth, Physical Culture and Sports of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, launched four social, motivational videos aimed at fostering youth engagement in sports.

The public service announcements (PSAs), which promote sports as a tool for healthy living and prevention of crime, violence and substance use, have been produced as part of UNODC’s Regional Programme for Central Asia and the organization’s Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. The latter was formed following the adoption of the Doha Declaration at the 2015 United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Qatar.

In line helping countries achieve a positive and sustainable impact on crime prevention and criminal justice, one of the Global Programme’s four areas focusses on providing sports-based, life-skills training curriculum for youth aged 13-18. This initiative –  Line Up, Live Up – strengthens youth resilience to crime, violence and drug use by enhancing their personal and social skills and increasing their knowledge on the risks associated with these phenomena.

Speaking at the launch of the PSA’s in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, the State Agency’s Deputy Director on Youth Policy, Mirlan Parkhanov, highlighted the importance of the work: “This joint project has helped the State Agency to enhance the capacity of sport coaches working with youth, to incorporate an interactive and innovative way of life skills training into physical education, thus helping youth better deal with everyday challenges in life and steer away from crime and drugs”.

The four PSA’s each highlight how sports can help to prevent anti-social behaviour and support youth to set goals and lead healthy lives. The first video, ‘Sport is my life’, showcases the lives of various children and their experience, feelings, perceptions and attitudes to sports. The second and third videos portray testimonials of two well-known Kyrgyz athletes – Aidana Otorbaeva, a national-level football player who recently signed a contract with a professional football club in Spain, and Kanat Kelsinbekov, a triathlete and Kyrgyzstan’s first ‘Iron man’ – who talk about the role of sports in their lives, how it helped them build resilience to negative influences and enhanced their capacity to communicate effectively. The final video highlights the role of sports in building resilience against crime by strengthening self-awareness and enhancing the ability of young people to say no to negative (peer) pressure.

The launch of the PSA’s coincides with the 2018 World Drug Day, which is held annually on 26 June. “With the start of our Line Up, Live Up campaign, UNODC kicks off a series of events to mark the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”, noted Koen Marquering, International Coordinator at the UNODC Programme Office in Kyrgyzstan.

“The theme for World Drug Day 2018 is ‘Listen First’. Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe. The Line Up, Live Upinitiative shows how sports are an effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities,” Marquering added.

The Line Up, Live Up curriculum is an innovative, sports-based training course for youth, comprising 10 sessions. These are aimed at developing core life skills that enable youth to deal with the demands, stress and interpersonal conflicts of everyday life, thus positively influencing behaviour, and preventing anti-social and risky conduct. It can be implemented by trained coaches in school and non-school settings.

Within the 2017-2018 period, 64 sports coaches and physical education teachers from Bishkek city and Batken, Chuy, Jalal-Abad and Osh provinces were certified to deliver the sports-based life-skills development curriculum for over 800 youth in 42 pilot schools and other sports and educational centres.

UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime