For information only - not an official document
18 April 2015
Statement of UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov
Raising public awareness reduces the hunger for illicit goods
DOHA/VIENNA 18 April (UN Information Services) - We are all rightfully shocked by crime, but too often our own role is overlooked.
Many crimes are demand driven. Wildlife, timber, cultural property, counterfeit goods, and others, are trafficked thanks to the appetite for these goods.
Awareness of the immense damage caused by this need, and an understanding of the human cost and explicit links to sustainable development, can help reduce demand.
A demand for animal parts for pseudo-medical purposes, for example, can and does drive criminals to meet this hunger.
The interplay between crime and demand has resulted in an estimated 1,215 rhinos poached in South Africa in 2014. Over the last decade more than 1,000 rangers have been murdered trying to protect wildlife.
Advocacy, in all its many forms, is, therefore, not simply an addition to sound policy, it is a potent tool to address behavior.
The Doha Declaration, passed unanimously at the 13th Crime Congress, has sought to encourage greater public participation in crime prevention and criminal justice.
It states Member States shall endeavor to "develop awareness-raising programmes to convey key values based on the rule of law and supported by educational programmes."
The harmful supply and demand cycle must be broken; but this is only possible through campaigns that empower and educate and encourage us all to change attitudes and behavior.
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