The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) implements measures that reflect the three international conventions on drug control and the conventions against transnational organized crime and corruption. UNODC's work is based on three major areas: health, justice and public safety. Within these major areas, work is directed to subjects such as drugs, organized crime, trafficking in persons, corruption, money laundering and terrorism, as well as alternative development and prevention to HIV among drug users and people in prison settings.
In the health area, UNODC works to guarantee universal access to health services as a fundamental human right, regardless of social condition or legal situation. Towards that end, UNODC directs its efforts to guarantee access to treatment for problematic drug users and to guarantee full health services within prison settings.
Moreover, UNODC promotes prevention efforts targeting the general population, in order to raise awareness on the risks of the abusive use of drugs.
In the justice area, UNODC works for the maintenance and development of the rule of law, assisting countries, through the implementation of relevant international legal instruments, in the development of justice systems based on fairness and integrity, as well as adequate prison systems, always from the perspective of respect to human rights.
In the public safety area, UNODC works to extend countries' capacity to offer a response to crime. To that end, it seeks to strengthen international action against drug production, trafficking and crimes associated with drugs, through initiatives such as alternative development projects, illicit crops monitoring and programmes against corruption and money laundering. Promoting the interchange of good practices and solutions, UNODC seeks to adjust countries' joint action in the fight against transnational organized crime, strengthening the rule of law and promoting criminal justice systems' stability.
UNODC has national and regional field offices that cover over 150 countries. Working directly with governments and non-governmental organizations, the field teams develop and implement drug control and crime prevention programmes, always adapted to the local necessities of the countries involved.
The three pillars of the UNODC work programme are:
• Normative work to assist States in the ratification and implementation of the relevant international treaties, the development of domestic legislation on drugs, crime and terrorism, and the provision of secretariat and substantive services to the treaty-based and governing bodies.
• Research and analytical work to increase knowledge and understanding of drugs and crime issues and expand the evidence base for policy and operational decisions.
• Field-based technical cooperation projects to enhance the capacity of Member States to counteract illicit drugs, crime and terrorism.
UNODC in Brazil and the Southern Cone
Since 1991, UNODC acts in Brazil with the goal of supporting the Brazilian government in fulfilling its obligations pursuant to UN Conventions on Drug Control and the twelve multilateral instruments on terrorism. Brazil ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, its three Protocols (against Trafficking in Persons, Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Firearms) and the UN Convention on Corruption.
The growth of UNODC's areas of work was complemented by the expansion of its geographic reach, which occurred in 2001, when the Office became regional, covering the Southern Cone countries: Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. The thematic areas for the Southern Cone are also in expansion, with projects on drug prevention, HIV and AIDS prevention, prison reform and prevention to gender-based violence. In May 2013, the regional office officially became a Liaison and Partnership Office of UNODC in Brazil, focused on regional cooperation and inter-regional cooperation, including South-South initiatives, with an emphasis on promoting colaboration and dialogue with other countries.