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ECOSOC Youth Forum

Protecting Vulnerable Youths from Crime and Violence in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic”

 10th Economic and Social Council Youth Forum 
A Decade of Action: Building a Resilient Recovery 



Protecting Vulnerable Youths from Crime and Violence in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic 


Within the framework of the 10th Economic and Social Council Youth Forum, UNICRI, the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations and the Ministry of Interior of the United Arab Emirates are organizing the side event "Protecting Vulnerable Youths from Crime and Violence in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic."

Responding to the global health crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has been a priority for the international community during the past year. However, the pandemic has also impacted, the global economy, human, civil and labour rights, as well as the rule of law and security, in an unprecedent manner. Member States must now decide what should be prioritized and how responses should be tailored. Undoubtedly, the pandemic has slowed the realization of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), jeopardizing hard-earned progress to end poverty, fight inequality, and tackle climate change.

While the crisis ostensibly appears to be even-handed in its impact on the population, the economy, the pandemic exacerbates pre-existing vulnerabilities of certain groups, including the youth. Indeed, the pandemic has deepened inequalities within and across countries, in areas of access to basic goods, health care, social protection, employment opportunities, education and justice. Vulnerable youths find themselves exposed to risks of the pandemic, as well as discrimination, exploitation and violence. These risks may be the result of measures implemented to contain the spread of the virus or, conversely, by the lack of necessary policy responses.

For instance, UN-Women reported an unprecedent increase in gender-based violence, including against young girls since the beginning of the pandemic. INTERPOL has found that, with both victims and perpetrators confined to their homes and connected to the internet for extended periods, there has been a worrying rise in child sexual exploitation and abuse globally. Strains brought on families during the pandemic have also weakened the integrity of the family unit, which plays an integral role in tackling substance abuse and addiction in youths. In light of these challenges and to ensure adequate protection for vulnerable youth it is critical to examine the emerging threats and trends, possible solutions and priority areas for intervention if we are to realize the SDGs. 

As the international community stops, thinks and reflects on how to build back better after the pandemic, ensuring a more peaceful and just world, the objectives of this side-event are to discuss the implications of COVID-19 from a crime prevention, justice, human rights protection and development perspective, with a specific focus on vulnerable youth. In particular, the meetings aim to serve as a platform to explore emerging threats and trends, possible solutions and priority areas for intervention 

The side event will address the following questions: 
  • What are the emerging threats and trends associated to the broad range of implications of the COVID-19 pandemic as they impact on vulnerable youths?
  • What are the possible solutions to mitigate these risks to youths?
  • What are priority areas of intervention to help ensure youths are more protected in the post-COVID-19 world?

The side-event will be arranged around a series of presentations on different thematic issues related to threats and trends, solutions and priority areas for intervention, followed by an open moderated discussion. Participant will have the opportunity to present questions to the speakers.

To register: 

The event will take place on Zoom. Interested participants can register here.