Rule of Law Challenges

East and South-East Asia is well known as a global source, transit and destination region for human trafficking.  It is the world's second largest source of heroin, and has become a key centre for the manufacture and trade of amphetamine type stimulants (ATS).  The region has also been subjected to illicit natural resource extraction, including the unlawful acquisition and export of endangered species and timber.

All of these crime trends need to be placed in the context of the developmental and political challenges which the region faces.  Localised instability, inadequate national legal frameworks, corruption, an uneven institutional capacity to govern effectively and limited cooperation among countries of the region are all key factors in addressing the challenges facing the region.  

The rule of law problems which UNODC's regional programme seeks to address can be grouped into three main pillars.

1: ILLICIT TRAFFICKING - Responses to illicit trafficking are impeded by weak capacity of law enforcement agencies and patchy cooperation among member states.
2: GOVERNANCE - Insufficient institutional and procedural safeguards against corruption and lack of cooperation in recovery of stolen public assets.
3: CRIMINAL JUSTICE - Lack of adequately strong, independent and fair justice systems at the national level as well as inadequate mechansisms to support effective cooperation in addressing transnational organized justice.