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).
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
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 continued to carry out activities related to women’s empowerment in Nigerian Edo State as a preventive measure against trafficking of women. As part of these activities, a second lot of beneficiaries was selected to receive training, micro-credit and all necessary equipment to start small business activities.Hide
In 2008/2009, UNICRI is implementing a second programme to counter trafficking in human beings from Nigeria to Italy, which also includes awareness-raising campaigns and education activities. Towards this end, an agreement was signed in February 2008 between Nigerian Government and UNICRI.Hide
UNICRI produced a website on trafficking in minors and commercial sexual exploitation of children, with a special focus on sex tourism and code of conduct for tourism operators. UNICRI has carried out awareness campaigns on trafficking in women and minors for the purpose of sexual exploitation with the aim to sensitize potential victims, political and religious leaders, public institutions, and the general public, in addition to raising awareness of the services available to victims. In Nigeria, in 2003, UNICRI implemented awareness campaigns in the Edo State, including radio and TV spots, market campaigns, advocacy meetings and school visits. In Italy, in 2004, a video spot “Let’s help them to get free from slavery” was broadcasted on national TV channels. In Costa Rica, UNICRI produced: TV and radio spots; billboards at the borders to sensitize/inform the public on the issue; a bookmark to raise awareness in the population at risk; a set of three different stickers posted up in the windows of all immigration offices; 14 movable billboards, circulated on buses, in the areas identified as the most vulnerable trafficking routes. In Ukraine, in 2006, awareness-raising campaigns included brochures advertising the free hot-line number and for specialists about national legislation; the dissemination of information through the La Strada website; multi-disciplinary round tables; and a television spot.Hide
Within the framework of the campaign Stop Raping our Greatest Resources: Power to the Women and Girls of DRC, awareness-raising activities, funds and political commitment to end violence against women and girls in the DRC were implemented from July to December 2008. Awareness raising campaigns in Edo State in Nigeria, have been designed with the support of UNICRI.Hide
An important milestone of the recently concluded UNICRI programme “Trafficking of Minors and Young Women from Nigeria to Italy” is the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in combating trafficking in persons between the National Anti-Mafia Bureau of Italy (DNA) and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other related Matters of Nigeria (NAPTIP), which are the responsible agencies for the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases in their respective countries.Hide