The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated to assist Member States In their struggle against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development draws together the strands of peace, the rule of law, human rights, development and equality into a comprehensive and forward-looking framework. Reducing conflict, crime, violence, discrimination, and ensuring inclusion and good governance, are key elements of people’s well-being and essential for securing sustainable development. UNODC helps Member States to strengthen legislative, judicial and health systems to better safeguard their populations, especially the most vulnerable groups. Its work on preventing and addressing violence against women and promoting access to justice is part of its mandate to strengthen the rule of law through the prevention of crime and the promotion of effective, fair, humane and accountable criminal justice systems in line with the UN standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice.
UNODC’s policy framework for addressing violence against women is contained in the following documents: (i) General Assembly resolution “Crime prevention and criminal justice measures to eliminate violence against women” (52/86); (ii) General Assembly resolution 48/104 (adopting the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women); (iii) General Assembly resolution 65/228 (adopting the Updated Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice;(iv) General Assembly resolution 65/229 (adopting United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules)); (v) Economic and Social Council resolution “Guidelines on Justice in Matters involving Child Victims and Witnesses of Crime” (2005/20), which is pertinent to girls; (vi) Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; and General Assembly resolutions on taking action against gender-related killing of women and girls (A/Res/68/191 and A/Res/70/176).
UNODC works to prevent and address violence against women and human trafficking , as well as to develop policies in support of women victims of violence, and women in prisons. UNODC integrates gender dimensions and the question of violence against women into its efforts to build the capacity of criminal justice systems. UNODC also assists Member States in addressing specific vulnerabilities of women and children who fall into the hands of smugglers.
UNODC offers assistance in strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice system responses to violence against women. Such responses include more efficient laws and policies and enhanced capacity of criminal justice systems to prevent, investigate, prosecute and punish related crimes, to provide access to justice and legal aid and to assist and protect victims and witnesses. UNODC provides legal and policy advice, training and capacity building to Member States upon request.
The Office supports and undertakes research related to trafficking in persons, including on the nature of trafficking and national and regional responses to trafficking. UNODC implements technical assistance projects, produces and disseminates public service announcements to counter trafficking in persons, and conducts outreach activities.
Further, UNODC manages the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, that enables the provision of protection, humanitarian and legal assistance to victims of this crime, in particular women and girls who have been sexually exploited. Assistance is provided through a careful selection of projects implemented by specialized, grassroots NGOs worldwide.
The One-Stop Centres for victims of domestic violence, supported through UNODC’s technical assistance projects, also carry out outreach programmes and awareness-raising. Similarly, national projects contain elements of raising awareness and advocacy.Hide
UNODC carried out several interventions to address trafficking in persons. For example, in Colombia, it set up a strategy for the prevention of trafficking in persons, disseminated publications and carried out awareness raising measures, including conferences at schools, urban interventions, theatre performances and the production of a television series highlighting experiences of victims. In Mexico, it supported the “Blue Heart” campaign against human trafficking and initiated a pilot violence prevention initiative to reduce risk factors at municipal level through the development of family skills. In Côte d'Ivoire, UNODC implemented measures to prevent trafficking for sexual exploitation along the commercial route Lagos-Abidjan.Hide
During the 28th session of the Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) from 20-24 May 2019, UNODC co-organised two side events of relevance: firstly, “The role of technology in facilitating and addressing sex View More
During the 28th session of the Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) from 20-24 May 2019, UNODC co-organised two side events of relevance: firstly, “The role of technology in facilitating and addressing sex trafficking,” held together with the Government of Belarus, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Equality Now; secondly, the “UNODC issue paper on inter linkages between trafficking in persons and marriage,” held together with the Government of Germany and the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control (HEUNI).Hide
UNODC participated in a consultation meeting for a General Recommendation by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration in View More
UNODC participated in a consultation meeting for a General Recommendation by the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on trafficking in women and girls in the context of global migration in Geneva in December 2018. UNODC will be closely involved in the development of the General Recommendation, including a keynote statement during CEDAW’s 72nd session in Geneva in February 2019.
UNODC organized a number of side events in cooperation with relevant partners, including on essential services for women and girls subject to violence and on the importance of gender equality and human rights for victims of trafficking in persons, during the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in May 2018 and the Conference to the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Crime in October 2018.Hide
Within the framework of its thematic debate on ‘Aspects of violence against women that pertain directly to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice’, the Commission, at its seventeenth session from 14-18 April 2008, considered the report of the Secretary-General on crime prevention and criminal justice responses to violence against women and girls. The Commission, in decision 17/1, requested UNODC to convene an intergovernmental group of experts, in cooperation with the institutes of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme network, the Commission on the Status of Women and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, to review and update the Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.Hide
UNODC, in consultation with UN Women, OHCHR and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, advanced preparations for an intergovernmental expert group meeting on gender-related killings of women and girls, to be held in November 2014, mandated by General Assembly resolution 68/191. UNODC also contributed to the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons on 13-15 May and serviced the Working Groups on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in November.Hide
In October 2010 UNODC together with other members of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons (ICAT), established by the UN General Assembly, launched the report: "An analytical review: 10 years on from the adoption of the UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol'"Hide
UNODC convened an open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting on gender-related killing of women and girls in Bangkok in November 2014, adopting recommendations for action against gender-related killing of women and girls (E/CN.15/2015/16).< View More
UNODC convened an open-ended intergovernmental expert group meeting on gender-related killing of women and girls in Bangkok in November 2014, adopting recommendations for action against gender-related killing of women and girls (E/CN.15/2015/16).Hide
In July 2010, UNODC hosted an Expert Group Meeting to review draft material for the forthcoming International Framework for Action to Implement the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol, a technical assistance tool to support States in the implementation of the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol. The draft tool recommends that the special vulnerability of smuggled migrant women to violence be borne in mind in the design, implementation and review of any measures put in place to protect women against violence. The draft provides that addressing violence against women in the context of migrant smuggling begins with addressing the underlying discriminatory norms and behaviour which manifest as increased vulnerability of women to violence, both before being smuggled, during the smuggling process and afterwards, especially when they are living as irregular migrants in or are in the custody of the destination state and/or are returned to their state of origin. At its 17th session (April 2008), the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice requested UNODC to convene an intergovernmental group of experts to review and update, as appropriate, the Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (hereinafter MSPMs), adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 52/86.The need to revise the MSPMs stemmed from the recognition that new practices, new thinking and new research have been developed since the adoption of the Model Strategies in December 1997. In July 2010, upon recommendation of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its 19th session (May 2010), the Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 2010/15 entitled “Strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice responses to violence against women” for further consideration and possible adoption by the General Assembly at its 65th session. By endorsing this resolution, the Council adopted the guidelines contained in the updated MSPMs (see annex of resolution 2010/15) which represent a comprehensive framework to assist States in developing policies and carrying out actions to eliminate violence against women and to promote equality between men and women within the criminal justice system. They are organized around eleven themes: i) guiding principles; ii) criminal law; iii) criminal procedure; iv) police, prosecutors and other criminal justice officials; v) sentencing and corrections; vi) victim support and assistance; vii) health and social services; viii) training; ix)) research and evaluation; x) crime prevention measures; and xi) international cooperation. The Council urged Member States to evaluate and review their legislation and legal principles, procedures, policies, programmes and practices relating to crime prevention and criminal justice matters, in a manner consistent with their legal systems and drawing upon the updated MSPMs, to determine if they are adequate to prevent and eliminate violence against women. Member States were also called upon to advance effective crime prevention and criminal justice strategies that address violence against women, including strategies aimed at preventing revictimization. The Economic and Social Council, upon recommendation of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, adopted resolution 2010/16 entitled “UN Rules for Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok Rules)”. The Bangkok Rules, annexed to the resolution, which were developed to supplement the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-Custodial Measures (Tokyo Rules) are made up of 70 rules. The Bangkok Rules will be submitted to the General Assembly, at its 65th session, for its consideration and possible approval.Hide