The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR)

The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) is a partnership between the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime that supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds. StAR works with developing countries and financial centers to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and to facilitate more systematic and timely return of stolen assets.

StAR is financed by the World Bank and UNODC. Contributors to StAR's Multi Donor Trust Fund include Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom and Netherlands. In addition, UNODC has received contributions for its support to StAR from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, UNDP, United Kingdom and the United States of America.

StAR's work is built on four key pillars:


  • StAR helps countries establish the legal tools and institutions required to recover the proceeds of corruption. It helps them develop the specific skills needed to pursue asset recovery cases, through sharing knowledge and information, and providing hands-on training in asset tracing and international cooperation on legal matters. StAR helps countries apply these tools and skills by facilitating contacts between jurisdictions in support of asset recovery cases.


  • StAR works with and helps bring together governments, regulatory authorities, donor agencies, financial institutions, and civil society organizations from both financial centers and developing countries, fostering collective responsibility and action for the deterrence, detection and recovery of stolen assets.


  • StAR generates knowledge on the legal and technical tools used to recover the proceeds of corruption, promoting the sharing of global best practices.

International Standards

  • StAR advocates for the strengthening and effective implementation of Chapter 5 of the UNCAC and other international standards to detect, deter and recover the proceeds of corruption. Working with global forums such as the Conference of States Parties to the UNCAC and its asset recovery working group, the Financial Action Task Force, and other multinational bodies, StAR fosters collective global public action and helps countries implement agreed standards.


Countries can request StAR assistance by sending a written request to the StAR Secretariat Coordinator, the Chief of the UNODC's Corruption and Economic Crime Branch and the UNODC Country Representative, or the World Bank Country Director.

For more information visit the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative Website

[Link to Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative Website]


StAR Publications

Asset Recovery Handbook: A Guide for Practitioners provides practitioners with a how-to guide for recovering stolen assets and draws on the experience of a wide range of countries and legal traditions.

[Download PDF - English]

Barriers to Asset Recovery: An Analysis to the Key Barriers and Recommendations for Action recommends eight strategic actions and other recommendations for policy makers, legislators and practitioners.

[Download PDF - English]

Towards a Global Architecture for Asset Recovery, a policy note which identifies some of the measures that national authorities and international bodies can undertake to accelerate the pace of asset return.

[Download PDF - English]

Politically Exposed Persons: Preventive Measures for the Banking Sector combines policy recommendations and good practices aimed at making it harder for corrupt PEPs to launder their money, and make it easier to get stolen assets back.

[Download PDF - English]

Income and Asset Declarations: Tools and Trade-offs provides practical advice and options for countries that want to build effective asset disclosure systems to prevent, uncover and prosecute corruption.

[Download PDF - English]

Management of Returned Assets: Policy Considerations reviews some of the issues that national authorities may want to consider when planning for asset returns.

[Download PDF - English]

A Good Practice Guide for Non-conviction-based Asset Forfeiture identifies the key concepts - legal, operational and practical - a procedure that provides for the seizure and forfeiture of of stolen assets without the need for a criminal conviction.

[Download PDF - English]
[Download PDF - Spanish]
[Download PDF - Russian]