Strengthening Effective Prevention of Drug Use among Youth through Community Policing
The objective of this conference is to provide a platform for experts of the OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation to discuss collective responses, including by means of community policing, to prevent youth from drug use and abuse, as well as from involvement into criminal networks engaged in drug trafficking, supply and/or distribution.
The best way to fight against the use of illicit drugs by young people is to prevent it.
Community policing is about creating and building a bond of trust between the public and the police. While traditional policing focuses on supply reduction and increasing the cost of drug use, community policing can embrace a broader, more effective approach that links supply and demand reduction by including prevention and treatment efforts. Therefore, community policing is a significant tool for crime prevention and an important component of local efforts to prevent young people from using illicit drugs. It aims at establishing close interactive relationships and trust between community members and the police to ensure that interventions occur at the earliest sign of emerging drug-related activities. It helps to develop a broad range of alternative youth activities that prevent youth involvement in illicit drugs. It also helps to co-ordinated the work of criminal justice and local government agencies with police departments to ensure that drug offenders are held responsible, that treatment is available to those in need, and that safer environments are created to foster drug-free communities.
The conference is expected to facilitate dialogue on:
Enhancing the sharing of drug-related information in the OSCE area and the exchange of good practices and solutions to enhance effective and comprehensive drug prevention;
Strengthening the role of community policing to develop and implement sustainable drug prevention, reduction and control efforts in partnership with young women and men;
Focusing on coherent approaches to avoid overlaps in activities and verified practical proposals on future co-operation;
More streamlining actions in implementing established policies and measures;
Increasing co-operation between the OSCE and UNODC, as well as with other international and regional actors and stakeholders to advance joint implementation of global commitments and make use of comparative advantages.
The conference is targeted at experts from national drug control structures, representatives of relevant international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including youth. Practitioners from pertinent government ministries, such as ministries of Interior, Justice, Health, and Foreign Affairs, as well as local institutions are especially encouraged to participate.