The mandate of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) is to contribute, through research, training, field activities and the collection, exchange and dissemination of information, to the formulation and implementation of improved policies in the field of crime prevention and control, due regard being paid to the integration of such policies within the broader policies for socio-economic change and development, and the protection of human rights.
UNICRI’s activities are developed in accordance with the priorities indicated by the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. Recently, UNICRI has devoted specific attention to the issue of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, for the purpose of sexual exploitation In the past, UNICRI has also carried out activities in the field of domestic violence prevention and control.
Since 2010, with the support of Italy, UNICRI has been developing a programme to enhance gender mainstreaming in substance use prevention, treatment and recovery strategies. In collaboration with other UN agencies such as UNODC and WHO, UNICRI has promoted awareness raising activities, good practices and data collection on enhancing the access to health and social services for vulnerable groups, in particular women and girls for recovery from substance use and related phenomena, including violence and sexual abuse. The focus has been on the social determinants influencing the health and social disparities in vulnerable groups.
In 2014 UNICRI conducted a study to assess the gendered impact of the financial, political and social crisis, and provide more data about its consequences for women, focusing on domestic violence, discrimination, access to justice and welfare services. Documented case studies were collected from the grassroots level of four countries from the Mediterranean basin: France, Spain, Italy and Greece.
Moreover, within the programme on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in Sahel Maghreb, UNICRI has provided financial support through micro grants to 60 Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) for the implementation of innovative approaches to prevent radicalization and violent extremism. CSOs have been selected through a pre-identified criteria that included gender equality considerations as part of their project proposals and in their managerial procedures. As result of the selection process, UNICRI works in close collaboration as women associations, as Reseau Femme-Solidarité-Developpment (RFSD) in Mauritania, Fanny Raghman Anni in Tunisia, and supports the implementation of innovative approaches as the training to imams by women preachers to promote the rights of women in religious discourses (Foundation Tlili).
Action-oriented research on successful intervention modalities for Nigerian minor victims of trafficking was carried out by UNICRI in various Italian regions. Current modalities of services and assistance towards minor victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation were evaluated in several Italian regions in order to develop successful interventions.Hide
Women’s empowerment activities started under the project “Action against Human Trafficking from Nigeria to Europe”, submitted by Edo State (Nigeria) NGO Coalition against Human Trafficking (ENCATIP) and NAPTIP (the Nigerian National Agency against Trafficking) and approved by UNICRI.Hide
Implementation of training, capacity building and raise awareness activities for the prevention of Violent Extremism, in which women, as key actor of the local communities play an active and important role.
Implementation of training, capacity building and raise awareness activities for the prevention of Violent Extremism, in which women, as key actor of the local communities play an active and important role.Hide
UNICRI is participating in the Pilot/Pre-testing survey on violence against women, which is carried out within the work programme of European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA). In December 2010, the FRA awarded the contract to the consortium of six partners, which was established for the purpose of this pilot study, led by the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control, affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI). UNICRI is responsible for consortium coordination in this study in six Member States – Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland and Spain. The survey will consist of standardised interviews with a random sample of women concerning their ‘everyday' experiences of all forms of violence.The data provided by the survey will be crucial for developing and evaluating legislation and policies to fight violence against women. To carry out the Italian component, UNICRI is working with the Council Network Fighting Violence against Women at Municipality of Turin, Italy.Hide
A Cooperation Platform was launched at the Interregional Meeting held by UNICRI in March 2009 for the Italian regions most affected by trafficking of Nigerian girls and women for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Another joint forum for discussion of strategies, exchange of information and experiences took place in June 2009 at UNICRI HQ with the participation of an official from the Nigerian Embassy. This interactive seminar focused on setting up coordination and cooperation contacts between the Italian network and Nigerian Embassy for consular procedures for Nigerian women victims of trafficking.Hide
A specialized training for representatives of the Edo State NGO Coalition against Human Trafficking and NAPTIP (the Nigerian National Agency against Trafficking) has been carried out with the support of UNICRI.Hide
In 2004 UNICRI prepared and tested a training manual to combat trafficking in human beings in peace operations, which targeted peace support operations’ personnel deployed in the Balkans. In 2006, within the framework of the project “Trafficking in Human Beings (THB) and Peace-Support Operations (PSOs): Pre-Deployment/ In-Service Training Programme for International Law-Enforcement Personnel”, UNICRI updated the training manual and carried out three training sessions, targeting, in particular, police officers deployed or to be deployed in peace-support missions through the South-East European region. The courses involved a total of 35 participants from 17 countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and United Kingdom).Hide
Furthermore, UNICRI developed a multi-disciplinary training manual for all the stakeholders involved in preventing and tackling trafficking in minors in Thailand and three major training courses took place. In Ukraine, in 2005-06, UNICRI focused on training, especially for specialists working for the national hotline on trafficking dealing with children, and prevention/awareness-raising activities.Hide
UNICRI also developed training courses for immigration and border police in Costa Rica to strengthen their capacity to address cases of trafficking in children for sexual exploitation. As a follow-up to the programme of action against trafficking in minors for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, UNICRI is currently carrying out in Costa Rica specialized training for judges and prosecutors and hotline operators, in collaboration with Fundaciòn Paniamor.Hide