Brief abstracts of conference sessions will be listed here once the final program has been confirmed.
Title: The Future is in the Minds: Using Education and Global Partnerships to Achieve SDG 16
Lead Presenter: Petkov, Alex
Session Abstract: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) supports countries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 16, by working with States on strengthening their legal and institutional capacity to fight crime, terrorism and corruption. In 2015, realizing that even the best laws and institutions will not prevent these problems in the absence of a cultural transformation, UN Member States have adopted the Doha Declaration which highlights the importance of education for preventing crime and reinforcing the rule of law. To implement the Doha Declaration, UNODC launched the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative which promotes justice education worldwide at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels. Since education is not one of UNODC’s traditional focus areas, the E4J initiative develops and disseminates teaching materials in partnership with educators, university lecturers, higher learning institutes, and academic networks from around the world. Thus far, E4J brought together over 600 academics from more that 114 countries to develop nine series of university modules that address core issues related to the rule of law, including corruption, organized crime, crime prevention and criminal justice, ethical leadership, gender diversity, as well as integrity in media, and business and law. The modules reflect global needs to instill values and are linked to the SDGs. They use effective teaching methods such as experiential learning, role-play, and group work to help students develop communication, teamwork, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills through value-driven actions. UNODC encourages academics globally to adapt and teach the E4J modules within local contexts. It is currently developing, in collaboration with the Open University of the UK, an interactive online lecturer-training course that will utilise open-access digital technology to equip lecturers across the world to teach the E4J modules. In addition, UNODC is using qualitative and quantitative evaluation research methodologies to study the impact of the E4J modules on students’ moral development and ability to address ethical challenges, with the aim of promoting long-term change in their mindsets and eventually societal norms, and to continue to improve the modules. The E4J initiative is a clear example of the United Nations’ attempts to reach out to new partners and come up with novel approaches to countering modern-day challenges. This panel will provide unique insights into this innovating collaborative initiative, which offers a promising alternative to traditional legal educational instruments. The panel will furthermore demonstrate the significance of partnerships between the UN, academia and educators/lecturers and how these actors can work more closely together to strengthen the rule of law and support the implementation of the SDGs. The panel will invite discussion of how GAJE colleagues can contribute to the ongoing development of the E4J initiative, particularly by exploring how the E4J materials and methods can be developed and adapted to best meet the needs of academics who want to teach the modules in their local contexts.
See full list of abstracts here.