News and Events

17 November2015

UNODC Chief's Salvadoran mission strengthens relations with local government and the region

UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, signs Memorandum of Understanding between his Office and the Salvadoran Ministers of Justice and Foreign Affairs. Photo: UNODC 17 November 2015 - In a meeting yesterday with Salvadoran President Sanchez Cerén, UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, praised El Salvador for its continuing efforts in countering illicit drugs, organized crime and violence in the country.

"Over the last 20 years successive Salvadoran governments have worked tirelessly to combat organized crime. I note that El Salvador has called for the UN's support in these efforts. As the head of the Office on Drugs and Crime, I want President Cerén to know that I have heard that call, and we stand ready to provide every possible assistance," said Mr. Fedotov. [ Read more]


05 November2015

Children's restorative justice activities support peacebuilding in Colombia

Photo: ICBF / UNODC 5 November 2015 - Restorative justice for children seeks to repair the damage caused by child offenders through alternative mechanisms of conflict resolution such as mediation and community service involving the offender, the victim and the community. It recognizes the central role of the victim while at the same time promotes the reintegration and rehabilitation of the child offender. [ Read more]


03 November2015

Corruption feeds and sustains wildlife and forest crime

Elephant tusks. Photo: Interpol 3 November 2015 - As the world turns to realising the new development agenda with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, we are concerned that spiralling wildlife and forest crime, fuelled by corrosive corruption, can impede vital progress.

Almost five years have passed since the International Forum for Tiger Conservation was held in St. Petersburg in Russia, which also launched the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC). [ Read more]


28 October 2015

UNODC Chief underlines rule of law's role in shielding development at meeting with Italian President

Photo: UNODC 28 October 2015 - "Last month's adoption of the sustainable development goals acknowledged that the rule of law is essential for protecting the international development agenda," said the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, today in a meeting with Italian President Sergio Mattarella.   
"Transnational organized crime is a clear and present challenge," said Mr. Fedotov. "If we are to succeed against the criminals, it is critical to unite countries and to foster the determination to confront crime in all its forms wherever it occurs." [ Read more]

14 October 2015

After six years on the rise, Afghan opium crop cultivation declines: new UNODC survey

2015 Afghanistan Opium Survey (Executive Summary) 14 October 2015 - Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan decreased 19 per cent in 2015, compared to the previous year, according to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey figures released today by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and UNODC. The area under opium poppy cultivation in 2015 is estimated to be 183,000 hectares (ha), compared with 224,000 ha in 2014. The cultivation area has decreased for the first time since 2009. [ Read more]


9 October 2015

Protecting wildlife from criminals focus of regional meeting in Mexico

Photo: PROFEPA, Mexico 9 October 2015 - The illegal trafficking of wildlife is a global problem with the involvement of organized and complex networks of poachers, traders, traffickers, salespeople and consumers worldwide. Throughout the world, hundreds of protected animal and plant species are trafficked. For example, in the Americas the trafficking of live reptiles, timber, cactus, fish, turtles, sea cucumbers, jaguars and animal parts such as totoaba fish bladders have been detected. Traffickers sell an outstanding variety of wildlife species endangering ecosystems and biodiversity, and generating billions of dollars for organized crime groups. [ Read more]


28 September 2015

Global initiative launched to counter the destruction and trafficking of cultural property by terrorist and organized crime groups

Exhibition "Azerbaijan customs services: guarding cultural heritage" by the Government of Azerbaijan. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, Nineteenth session (Vienna, 17-19 May 2010). Photo: UNODC 28 September 2015 - The "Protecting Cultural Heritage - An Imperative for Humanity" initiative was presented yesterday (27 September) by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Italy and Jordan with the participation of principals from UNODC, UNESCO and INTERPOL as well as ministers from a number of UN Member States on the sidelines of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly.

The main goal of the programme is to follow up on resolutions and decisions adopted by the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly and other international bodies. [Read more]


18 September 2015

New campaign draws attention to plight of smuggled migrants in Mexico & Central America

Poster from new awareness raising campaign on migrant smuggling in Mexico and Central America. Photo: UNODC 18 September 2015 - Migrant smuggling affects almost every country in the world. It undermines the integrity of countries and communities, and costs thousands of people their lives every year. This complex crime generates billions of dollars in profit for smugglers who operate through networks that cross continents by land, sea and air. Every day around the world thousands of women, men and children risk their lives to escape conflict, poverty, persecution and natural disasters, many putting their lives in the hands of migrant smugglers. [Read more]


10 September 2015

UNODC, OSCE develop strategies to reduce drug demand and drug supply to youth

Photo: UNODC 10 September 2015 - UNODC, through its Deputy Executive Director, addressed a high-level conference aimed at enhancing the mechanisms to stem the increasing spread of illicit drugs amongst young people, organized under the Serbian Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). The two-day event was held at the Hofburg palace in Vienna, bringing together practitioners from national administrations, representatives from youth initiatives and civil society organizations (CSOs) as well as international and regional organizations. [Read more]


7 September 2015

UNODC launches strategy against human trafficking and migrant smuggling in West and Central Africa

Regional Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in West and Central Africa. Photo: UNODC 7 September, 2015 - UNODC recently launched its Regional Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in West and Central Africa. With these two regions considered points of origin, transit and destination for victims of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants, the new Regional Strategy aims to assist the affected countries in dismantling the criminal networks while at the same time protecting the victims of these crimes. [Read more]


18 August 2015

2014 Bolivia Survey reports decline in coca cultivation for fourth year in a row

Photo: 2014 Bolivia Coca Survey 02 August 2015 - Recently, UNODC published its latest Annual Report, providing an overview of the work being done across the multitude of areas mandated to the Office. From illicit drugs and their impact on health, to transnational organized crime and terrorism, through to crime prevention and combating corruption, UNODC assists countries in all regions of the world in their efforts against these interconnected challenges. [ Read more]

03 August 2015

Annual Report highlights UNODC's vision of protecting sustainable development from threat of drugs and crime

Photo: UNODC 02 August 2015 - Recently, UNODC published its latest Annual Report, providing an overview of the work being done across the multitude of areas mandated to the Office. From illicit drugs and their impact on health, to transnational organized crime and terrorism, through to crime prevention and combating corruption, UNODC assists countries in all regions of the world in their efforts against these interconnected challenges. [ Read more]

31July 2015

UNODC welcomes first United Nations General Assembly resolution on wildlife crime

Photo: UNODC 31 July 2015 - The unanimous decision at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly to adopt a resolution on 'Tackling Illicit Trafficking in Wildlife' has been strongly welcomed by UNODC. Calling on countries to increase efforts to counter and prevent illicit wildlife trafficking and poaching, the resolution is an important step towards tackling the organized criminal networks who profit from the illegal killing of some of the world's most iconic species. [ Read more]

31July 2015

On World Day against Trafficking in Persons, far more still needs to be done to help victims and end impunity for criminals

Photo: UNODC 30 July 2015 - Each year millions of women, men and children are trafficked for profit. They are sexually exploited, made to undertake demanding and often dangerous work in homes, farms and factories across the globe, and find themselves victims of one of the many other forms of abuse such as forced marriage or organ removal. Yet despite the wide-spread recognition that this is one of today's most exploitative crimes, action is lacking: more needs to be done to dismantle the organized criminal networks behind this, while at the same time it is critical that assistance to victims be stepped up. [ Read more]

21July 2015

'Let's develop our communities without drugs': 2015 World Drug Day marked globally

Photo: UNODC 21 July 2015 - Every year on 26 June, the network of offices UNODC has around the globe observe World Drug Day by organizing different events in conjunction with the local communities and Governments. On this occasion, people from regions as diverse as Latin America, South Asia, West Africa and the Middle East voiced this year's message: a balanced approach to confront drug supply and drug demand is fundamental. Moreover, the importance of alternative sources of income for farmers who cultivate illicit crops was raised, as this promotes environmental protection, supports communities affected by other forms of crime - such as wildlife and forest crime - and empowers women. Below is a selection of some of the many events that took place this year across the globe. [ Read more]

15 July 2015

Latest UNODC survey shows substantial coca crop decline in Peru

Photo: Hugo Solar

15 July 2015 - According to the latest crop monitoring survey, presented today in Lima by UNODC and the Government of Peru, coca bush cultivation in the country fell almost 14 per cent in 2014 compared to 2013. The area used for cultivating the raw material for cocaine production fell from 49,800 hectares (ha) to 42,900 ha.

Speaking at the Survey's launch, UNODC's Representative in Peru, Flavio Mirella, highlighted the comprehensive approach taken by the Government, which, together with its decision to increase annual eradication goals, includes pursuing complementary pre- and post-eradication strategies. Additionally, he acknowledged the country's "enhanced efforts and investments for promoting alternative livelihoods in coca growing areas, for building more capacity and for a greater State presence in areas affected by coca cultivation." [ Read more]

 09 July 2015

Cybercrime: protecting children from online abuse and exploitation

Photo: UNODC 9 July 2015 - Fast-paced technological innovation and widespread accessibility of information and communication technology (ICT) have transformed societies around the world. Children in particular have unprecedented access to computers and mobile technologies, and have in recent decades tended to adopt these from an early age, resulting in ICTs becoming thoroughly embedded in their lives. Although the exploitation of children is not a new phenomenon, the digital age has exacerbated the problem and created more vulnerability to children. [Read more]

 02 July 2015

Colombia Survey 2014: UNODC study shows significant increase in coca leaf production in high density areas

Photo: UNODC 2 July 2015 - The latest Colombia Coca Survey, produced by UNODC jointly with the Colombian Government, was released today showing that the country's cultivation area and cocaine production both increased substantially in 2014 compared to the previous year. The Survey notes that the net coca cultivation area was up 44 per cent year-on-year from 48,000 hectares in 2013 to 69,000 a year later, while the potential cocaine production, in turn, rose from 290 to 442 metric tons in the same period representing a 52 per cent increase. [ Read more]

 26 June 2015

2015 World Drug Report finds drug use stable, access to drug & HIV treatment still low

Photo: UNODC 26 June 2015 - Drug use prevalence continues to be stable around the world, according to the 2015 World Drug Report of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). It is estimated that a total of 246 million people - slightly over 5 per cent of those aged 15 to 64 years worldwide - used an illicit drug in 2013. Some 27 million people are problem drug users, almost half of whom are people who inject drugs (PWID). An estimated 1.65 million of people who inject drugs were living with HIV in 2013. Men are three times more likely than women to use cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines, while women are more likely to misuse prescription opioids and tranquillizers. [ Read more]

23 June 2015

Countering narcotics: Afghanistan Drug Reporting System launched

Photo: UNODC 23 June 2015 - UNODC and the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics have launched the Afghanistan Drug Reporting System (ADRS), the latest project in their partnership of more than three years. This tool is the first ever comprehensive and interactive online system for all counter-narcotics related data in the country. [ Read more]

18 June 2015

Successful operation highlights growing international cooperation to combat wildlife crime

Photo: Operation COBRA 18 June 2015 - The International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) welcomed today the results achieved during Operation COBRA III, an international law enforcement operation conducted in May 2015 with the aim of combating wildlife crime and bringing the criminals involved to justice.  [ Read more]


17 June 2015

Afghan heroin now also being trafficked through Africa: new UNODC report

Photo: UNODC 17 June 2015 - A significant portion of opiates originating in Afghanistan are transiting Africa before being trafficked onwards to Europe, North America and other consumer markets, UNODC noted in a new report published today. Afghanistan is the largest producer of opium in the world and the 'Balkan' route (through the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey) has traditionally been the primary route for trafficking heroin out of Afghanistan.The report, entitled 'Afghan Opiate Trafficking - the Southern Route', however, notes a changing trend: the 'southern route' - a collection of trafficking routes within which organized criminal groups smuggle heroin out of Afghanistan on southerly flows - are gaining ground in the supply of some European markets. [Read more]


22 May 2015

Crime Commission closes with call to tackle some of world's most daunting challenges

Photo: UNODC 22 May 2015 - Terrorism, migrant smuggling and trafficking in cultural property are some of the world's most daunting challenges, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said today.

"The magnitude of the problems we face is such that it is sometimes hard to imagine how any effort can be enough to confront them. But to quote Nelson Mandela, 'It always seems impossible until it is done.' We must keep working together, until it is done." [ Read more]


21 May 2015

Mekong region officials vow to counter drug threat

Mekong Ministers and UNODC sign Regional Action Plan, 21 May 2015. Photo: UNODC 21 May 2015 - Ministers and senior officials from the six countries of the Mekong river region, which includes Cambodia , China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam, together with UNODC, convened to endorse a new strategy to combat the growing and evolving drug threat to the region.

As the latest data shows, the flow of illicit drugs and precursor chemicals continues to increase and threaten the Mekong sub-region. Production and trafficking of methamphetamine and heroin within and from the region alone are generating a conservatively estimated annual value of over $31 billion for organized crime groups. [ Read more]


20 May 2015

Assisting States in their efforts against cybercrime

Photo: UNODC 20 May 2015 - During a side event at the 24th Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), UNODC launched the cybercrime repository - a database of legislation, case law and lessons learned on cybercrime and electronic evidence. This tool will assist countries in their efforts to prevent and effectively prosecute cybercriminals. At the launch, Loide Lungameni, Chief of UNODC's Organized Crime Branch, noted that this new database is the only currently available global tool which contains laws, cases and lessons learned on cybercrime and electronic evidence. [ Read more]

18 May 2015

Crime Commission discusses plight of smuggled migrants in Mediterranean region

A sailor hands out water to rescued individuals on a Royal Navy Landing Craft, working with the Italian Coast Guard. Photo: JJ Massey. 18 May 2015 - The Mediterranean Sea is one of the main routes for the smuggling of migrants, an activity which generates billions of dollars a year for criminal networks. Along this route, appalling tragedies have been occurring almost daily, as vulnerable women, children and men place their lives in the hands of organized criminals in order to reach Europe.

At a side event during the 24th Crime Commission, participants addressed the different aspects of migrant smuggling, including law enforcement efforts and the way countries in the region can cooperate against the organizations involved in this crime. During the meeting, entitled 'Protecting migrants at sea and addressing the smuggling of migrants. The Italian experience', experts addressed the human rights of smuggled migrants, and the rescue operations across the Mediterranean. [Read more]


Migrant smuggling is a tragedy that cannot continue, says UNODC Chief at Crime Commission opening

Photo: UNODC 8 May 2015 - Migrant smuggling cuts across borders and is intimately linked with peace and security, human rights and development, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said today. In his opening speech at the 24th Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), the UNODC Chief said he had been horrified during the 13th Crime Congress in Doha in April this year by news reports of migrants dying when their boats sank in the Mediterranean. [Read more]


08 May 2015

Central Asia: new regional cooperation platform against organized crime, illicit drugs

Representatives of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Uzbekistan and UNODC at the signing of the 2015-2019 Central Asia Programme of partnership. Photo: UNODC 8 May 2015 - In the past days, UNODC and five countries of Central Asia signed a new Programme of partnership for the period 2015-2019. The agreement represents the key strategic framework under which UNODC provides technical assistance and advisory services in the region. [Read more]


06 May 2015

"No country can tackle the threats of drugs and crime alone," says UNODC Chief at Central Asia meeting on illicit drugs

Photo: UNODC 6 May 2015 - Cooperation and coordination are essential to counter the problem of illicit drugs in Central Asia, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said in Turkmenistan, at an event - the renewing of a regional anti-drug trafficking pact known as the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) - hosted by the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and the country's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rashid Meredov. "No country can tackle the threats of drugs and crime alone, and revitalizing this Memorandum of Understanding is an important step towards promoting integrated national, regional and inter-regional responses and strengthening drug control cooperation in Central Asia," said Mr. Fedotov. [Read more]


28 April 2015

Migrant smuggling in Asia increasingly complex and dynamic

Photo: UNODC 28 April 2015 - In a new report, UNODC warns that the smuggling of migrants poses a significant threat to Asia, generating an annual value of $2 billion for criminal groups and leading to deaths and human rights abuses.

The report, entitled Migrant Smuggling in Asia: Current Trends and Related Challenges, analyzes the smuggling of migrants in 28 states from the Middle East to the Pacific and finds that criminal networks are creatively exploiting gaps between demand and regular migration, with smuggling fees to get to some destinations now reported as high as $50,000. [Read more]


27 April 2015

Stemming the flow of illegal drugs: building cross-border cooperation in Central Asia

Photo: UNODC 27 April 2015 - As part of a regional approach to address drug trafficking in Central Asia, a new UNODC-supported Border Liaison Office (BLO) was recently opened between Afghanistan and Tajikistan at the Nizhny Panj checkpoint. The facility will allow for direct communication between the countries' border control agencies and is aimed at stemming the flow of illegal drugs. [Read more]


19 April 2015

13th UN Crime Congress closes with vow to implement Doha Declaration for crime's victims

Photo: UN/DPI 19 April 2015 2015 - In closing the 13th Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha today, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said that the event had set a very high bar for the future, and that the key task now was to turn the Congress's Declaration into action. "This Congress has provided a solid platform for the international community to recognize the tangible links between the rule of law and sustainable development. We must build on those links as we set our sustainable development agenda for the next 15 years," he said. [Read more]


14 April 2015

Two thousand human trafficking victims benefit annually from UN Trust Fund

Photo: UNODC 14 April 2015 - The UN Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, helps trafficking victims reclaim their dignity and their lives, an audience heard today at a high-level event held on the margins of the 13th Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.  

In his remarks, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said that the UN Trust Fund was helping today's victims become tomorrow's survivors. [Read more]


13 April 2015

Calls for wildlife and forest crime to be treated as serious crime

Photo: UNODC 13 April 2015 - Poaching and illicit trafficking of wild fauna and flora have a significant impact on species and entire ecosystems, local communities and their livelihoods, national economies, and national and regional security. 

On 13 April 2015, UNODC and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) co-hosted an International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) high-level side event on "Wildlife and Forest Crime: A Serious Crime" in the margins of the 13th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha, Qatar. [Read more]


12 April 2015

Crime Congress Opens, UN Secretary-General says we must remake world in the image of justice and equality

High-level segment in the Plenary Hall. Photo: UNIS Vienna. 12 April 2015 - At an official opening event for the 13th Crime Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed there could be no development without human rights or the rule of law. "Our goal," Ban said, "is for the world to speak and to say with one clear voice, 'today was a better day than yesterday, and tomorrow will be better than today.'" [Read more]


09 April 2015

Opening of refugee exhibition in Vienna reinforces need to support vulnerable smuggled migrants

Photo: UNODC 08 April 2015 - An exhibition at the Vienna International Centre on the suffering of conflict refugees fleeing to Turkey offered an opportunity for UNODC to showcase its own ongoing activities against migrant smuggling.

In his remarks at the opening ceremony, UNODC Deputy Executive Director Aldo Lale-Demoz said: "We cannot stand idle as desperate people fall prey to international organized crime while trying to escape conflict and humanitarian disasters. We need urgent and resolute international action to save lives, assist victims, as well as to investigate, prosecute and sentence the perpetrators of criminal activities." [Read more]


02 April 2015

Preventing crime to build sustainable development: Crime Congress 2015

Photo: UNODC 2 April 2015 - Every five years policy-makers and practitioners working in crime prevention and criminal justice gather for the United Nations Crime Congress to help shape the agenda and standards of the UN in this area. The Thirteenth Crime Congress being held in Doha, Qatar, from 12-19 April 2015 marks the 60th anniversary of these meetings and is set to consider how best to integrate these important areas into the United Nations' global work in addressing social and economic challenges. [Read more]


24 March 2015

SHERLOC: Building knowledge and cooperation against organized crime

Photo: UNODC 24 March 2015 - With criminal groups transforming into ever more sophisticated networks, and their ability to operate across borders increasing, the need for greater information sharing and cooperation is urgent. To meet this need, UNODC has developed SHERLOC: an online knowledge management portal for Sharing Electronic Resources and Laws on Crime and disseminating information on how States implement the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). [Read more]


06 March 2015

UN General Assembly: Cooperation vital to combating organized wildlife crime

High-level stakeholder dialogue on illegal wildlife trade at the UN General Assembly - Photo: German Mission to the United Nations 06 March 2015 - At the United Nations General Assembly thematic debate this week on Wildlife and Forest Crime, high-level officials, including UNODC's Deputy Executive Director, called for a coordinated, international response to the trafficking of wildlife to tackle both the supply and demand of this illegal trade. The debate was held as part of the global events marking the second annual World Wildlife Day. [Read More]


05 MArch 2015

UNODC chief outlines strategy to address smuggling of migrants across the Mediterranean

Photo: Frontex 05 March 2015 - The smuggling of migrants across the Mediterranean poses both a humanitarian concern and a criminal threat. Each year, countless children, women and men - often those escaping conflict and other disasters in their countries - fall prey to organized crime. As part of the United Nations' work in addressing this issue, a number of organizations met this week in London to discuss the collective responses being rolled-out around irregular migration. Speaking at the event held by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), [Read more]


04 March 2015

Crime Congress 2015: A focus on Cybercrime

Photo: UNODC 4 March 2015 - Cybercrime is one of the fastest growing transnational organized crimes and already affects millions of victims worldwide. It takes the form of identity-related offences, infringement of copyright and intellectual property rights, and child pornography and abuse. It is one of the greatest threats to the two billion users of cyber space today who knowingly - or not - store personal information online. [Read more]


03 March 2015

World Wildlife Day 2015: It's time to get serious about wildlife crime!

World Wildlife Day 3 March 2015 - The second World Wildlife Day, themed 'It's time to get serious about wildlife crime' is being observed globally today. Once an emerging threat, wildlife and forest crime has now transformed into one of the largest transnational organized criminal activities alongside trafficking in drugs, arms and human beings. Beyond the immediate impact on the world's fauna and flora, the illegal trade in natural resources is depriving developing economies of billions of dollars in lost revenues. [Read more]


24 February 2015

Science in a suitcase: Testing for illicit drugs in Southeast Asia

Participants from Myanmar at a UNODC training on field test kits to detect precursor chemicals. Photo: UNODC 24 February 2015 - The production and movement of methamphetamines and heroin, coupled with the trafficking of precursor chemicals necessary to produce illicit drugs, present a major threat to the countries forming the Greater Mekong Sub-region. And while law enforcement officers dealing with these issues have traditionally lacked the correct resources to swiftly and systematically identify seized substances, this has started to change thanks to assistance provided under UNODC's Global SMART Programme. [Read more]


17 February 2015

World Wildlife Day 2015: Together, let's get #SeriousAboutWildlifeCrime

World Wildlife Day 2015 17 February 2015 - Once an emerging threat, wildlife and forest crime has today transformed into one of the world's largest transnational organized criminal activities, alongside the trafficking of drugs, arms and humans. With the involvement of organized criminal groups, the industrial-level operations have been devastating: according to CITES, in 2013 alone, some 20,000 African elephants were killed, while in South Africa last year, 1,215 rhinos were poached for their horns. [Read more]

12 February 2015

'It's a crime': Corruption

Photo: UNODC 12 February 2015 - Corruption is the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development around the world. But it does not just steal money from where it is needed the most; it leads to weak governance, which in turn fuels organized criminal groups and promotes crimes such as human trafficking, arms and migrant smuggling, counterfeiting and the trade in endangered species. In the run up to the 13th United Nations Crime Congress being held in April, different crimes are being highlighted, showing their impact on development and how vital it is to tackle them to achieve sustainable development. In February 2015 the focus is on corruption, outlining the scale of the problem and telling its transnational story. [Read more]


10 February 2015

Viet Nam joins the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme

Photo: UNODC 10 February 2015 - Each year an estimated 600 million container movements, accounting for some 90 per cent of the world's cargo, take place globally. Half of these containers have their origin, transit route or destination in the countries of Southeast Asia. The large volume of containers, and the speed of handling them, is a challenge to the law enforcement agencies trying to identify illicit shipments in this supply chain. In principle, most of the containers are virtually uninspected... [Read more]


04 February 2015

Japan boosts support for conflict prevention, peace-building in Nigeria

Photo: UNODC 4 February 2015 - Tackling human trafficking and terrorism in Nigeria was bolstered this week following the launch of two new projects between the Government of Japan and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Aimed at increasing national-level capacity in addressing these twin threats, the projects build on the Plan of Action signed between Japan and UNODC following the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V). In the Plan, UNODC and Japan pledged to enhance regional cooperation, in particular with regard to crime prevention and criminal justice reform in Africa, Afghanistan and neighbouring countries, and South-East Asia. [Read more]


28 January 2015

Tackling human trafficking in West Africa: UNODC and the story of Anna and Precious

Photo: UNODC 28 January 2015 - A few years ago, Anna*, now aged 24, and her friend Precious*, now 19, were brought from Nigeria to Okah, in northern Côte d'Ivoire, under the pretence of attractive jobs. With difficult living conditions back home, the choice of moving for a better life, earning some money and studying further was a seemingly easy one. The opportunity, however, was not as innocent as it seemed and Anna and Precious soon found themselves being trafficked. [Read more]


22 January 2015

UNODC Chief's mission to Nicaragua consolidates drug and crime cooperation

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov with Nicaraguan President Jose Daniel Ortega Saavedra (Photo: UNODC) 22 January 2015 - UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, in Nicaragua for the next leg of his mission to Central America, welcomed today the government's robust efforts in tackling drugs and crime, including social policies protecting the vulnerable, especially young people, from drug use and participation in crime. [Read more]


20 January 2015

UNODC chief meets President, officials, on support to counter drugs, crime and violence in Honduras

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov and President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernández met to discuss UNODC support in efforts against drug trafficking, organized crime and crime prevention. Photo: UNODC. 20 January 2014 - UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov met the President of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, to discuss UNODC support for national and regional efforts to counter illicit drug trafficking and organized crime as well as strengthen prevention.

Mr. Fedotov welcomed the government's recent announcement that the country's homicide rate had decreased in 2014. [Read more]


19 January 2015

UNODC, government of Japan review joint plan of action

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov and Kenji Hiramatsu, Deputy Vice-Minister and Director General of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Foreign Ministry of Japan. Photo: UNODC. 19 January 2014 - UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov met with Kenji Hiramatsu, Deputy Vice-Minister and Director General of the Foreign Affairs Bureau of the Foreign Ministry of Japan, to review a joint plan of action aimed at strengthening cooperation. In the action plan, UNODC and Japan pledged to enhance regional cooperation in Africa as well as in Southeast Asia, [Read more]


14 January 2015

'It's a crime': Migrant Smuggling

Photo: UNHCR / A. D'Amato 13 January 2015 - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that in the first nine months of 2014, at least 4,077 migrants died while being smuggled abroad. This is 70 per cent higher than the recorded deaths for the whole of 2013.

Profit-seeking criminals exploit the lack of legal opportunities available to migrants and take advantage of their situation by offering services at great cost, including transport and document fraud. [Read more]


 09 January 2015

Young journalist training in South Asia: Helping develop reporting skills on drugs, human trafficking and migration

Young journalists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan participated in a journalism workshop to develop reporting skills on drugs, human trafficking and migration.Photo: UNODC 9 January 2015 - Investigative journalism and responsible reporting on the part of young journalists was the focus of a recent UNODC-supported workshop held in South Asia. Covering issues such as human trafficking, migration and illicit drug activities in the region, the programme brought together a number of journalists aged 21-30 from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Pakistan using a combination of online discussions and in-person training. [Read more]


23 December 2014

UNODC makes crime-fighting knowledge accessible in remote areas

Photo: UNODC 22 December 2014 - UNODC recently unveiled its Global eLearning Programme, a platform for law enforcement officials all over the world. The eLearning courses address current security threats such as transnational organized crime, illicit drugs, human trafficking, and smuggling of migrants, as well as border and container control, forensics, and human rights, among other subjects. [Read more]


19 December 2014

Before UN Security Council, UNODC Chief offers full support for Afghan drug control efforts

Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), addresses the Security Council meeting on the situation in Afghanistan and its implications for international peace and security. Photo: UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

19 December 2014 - UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, in a briefing to the UN Security Council yesterday, said the international community needs to share responsibility with the Afghan government for countering illicit drugs. Quoting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani when he said recently that the country should "face the future with full unity and with confidence," Mr. Fedotov informed the UN Security Council that "We must support Afghanistan in this momentous task, and begin this decade of transformation with courage and determination." [Read more]


16 December 2014

Former illicit crop farmers supply cocoa to Austrian chocolate maker

From left to right: UNODC Deputy Executive Director Aldo Lale-Demoz, Colombian Ambassador to Austria Jaime Alberto Cabal, chocolatier Josef Zotter, Styria Chamber of Commerce President Josef Herk, and Austrian Foreign Ministry representative Andreas Liebmann at the Zotter factory in Graz, Austria. Photo: UNODC

16 December 2014 - A partnership between the Colombian and Austrian governments, UNODC, and the Austrian fair trade chocolate manufacturer Zotter has just been launched, with the introduction of a new premium chocolate bar - branded as Labooko - Kolumbien Kakao 75%. This is part of the UNODC-supported Montebravo project in Colombia, which provides small-scale farmers with badly needed sources of income in order to reduce their dependence on illicit drug crops. [Read more]


15 December 2014

Photo: Domodedovo Training Centre

Afghanistan tackles drug trafficking with help from UNODC, Japan and Russia

15 December 2014 -The last session of a series of trainings aimed at assisting the Afghan Counter Narcotics Police to tackle drug trafficking was concluded in recent days at the All-Russian Advanced Training Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, commonly known as the Domodedovo Training Centre. The training was designed to improve the operational capacity of the Afghan Counter Narcotics Police in order to combat illicit drugs, and was provided under the framework of the UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighboring Countries. [Read more]


11 December 2014

Photo: UNODC

Executive Director's interaction with Bangladesh students distills essence of UNODC's global mandate

11 December 2014 - In a wide ranging keynote address to students at Dhaka's prestigious University yesterday, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov outlined his Office's international mission to confront drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism. [Read more]


9 December 2014

Photo: UNODC 

UNODC marks International Day with call to 'Break the corruption chain' reaching more than 8 million 

9 December 2014 - Today, UNODC and the UN Development Programme are marking the International Anti-Corruption Day with an awareness-raising campaign which will reach more than 8 million people globally. The campaign's message, 'Break the corruption chain', invites people to avoid being part of everyday acts of corruption which relentlessly undermine education, health, justice, democracy and sustainable development in communities large and small all over the world. [Read more]


8 December 2014

Opium production in the Golden Triangle continues at high levels, threatening regional integration

8 December 2014 - Opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar and Lao PDR rose to 63,800 hectares (ha) in 2014 compared to 61,200 ha in 2013, increasing for the eighth consecutive year and nearly tripling the amount harvested in 2006, according to the Southeast Asia Opium Survey 2014 - Lao PDR, Myanmar . [Read more]


5 December 2014

Photo: UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov and rangers

Cooperation to stop wildlife crime, illicit drugs on agenda as UNODC chief visits Nepal

5 December 2014 - The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, met with government leaders in Nepal and learned about the country's anti-poaching initiatives as part of his official visit to South Asia. [Read more]


24 November 2014

Photo: UNODC

Trafficking in children on the increase, according to latest UNODC Report

24 November 2014  - The 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons released today in Vienna and in various UNODC field office locations across the world shows that one in three known victims of human trafficking is a child - a 5 per cent increase compared to the 2007-2010 period. Girls make up 2 out of every 3 child victims, and together with women, account for 70 per cent of overall trafficking victims worldwide. [Read More]


13 November 2014

Photo: UNODC

From the crime scene to the courtroom: ICCWC release Guidelines on ivory

13 November 2014 - Elephant poaching remains at critical levels in Africa, and continues to exceed the natural elephant population growth rates. This rapidly growing transnational organized crime threatens national security, the rule of law, and economic and social development. The International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) today released ' Guidelines on methods and procedures for ivory sampling and laboratory analysis' in support of the deployment of forensic technology to combat elephant poaching. [Raed More]

Panama joins Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking

Photo: UNODC
11 November 2014 - Panama is the latest country to join the Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking. With millions of victims of human trafficking across the globe, the campaign aims to mobilize governments, civil society organizations, media and the private sector to expose and combat this serious crime. [Read More]


12 November 2014

Photo: UNODC

Afghan opium crop cultivation rises seven per cent in 2014; while opium production could climb by as much as 17 per cent

12 November 2014 - Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan rose seven per cent from 209,000 hectares in 2013 to 224,000 hectares, according to the 2014 Afghanistan Opium Survey released today in Vienna and Kabul by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Meanwhile, opium production may potentially increase 17 per cent, with yields estimated to reach 6,400 tons in 2014 compared to the previous year's total of 5,500 tons. [Read More]


11 November 2014

Photo: UNODC

UNODC chief holds meetings with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah

10 November 2014 - UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov visited Kabul on 8 November and met with President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah. [Read More]


3 November 2014

Austrian business leaders show a heart for victims of human trafficking

Photo: UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov and his wife, Madam Yoo (Ban) Soon-taek, Benita Ferrero Waldner, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Vivienne Westwood, Ali Rahimi and his wife, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.
3 November 2014 - The UN Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons received a U$ 250,000 boost in donations yesterday from the private sector at a fund-raising event in Vienna, attended by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov and fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. Proceeds from the event will go directly to grassroots organizations that rescue, shelter and reintegrate victims into society. [Read More]

31 October 2014

People stream across the border between Cambodia and Thailand. Senior government and UN officials and experts warn that increases in organized criminal activities are likely unless governments support and establish effective national and regional responses, including cooperation mechanisms. (c) UNODC.

Transnational organized crime worth at least USD $100 billion per year poses challenges to Asian integration

31 October 2014 - Speakers at a high-level UNODC meeting today warned that transnational crime and public security threats in Asia risk overwhelming border management, law enforcement and justice agencies of many states. This comes as the acceleration of trade and migration flows in the region increases. [Read More]


30 October 2014

Photo: UNODC

UNODC delegation discussed rule of law and organized Crime in Australia & New Zealand

28 October 2014 - In a series of meetings with senior Australian and New Zealand officials UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov underscored the importance of an integrated approach to evolving illicit drug and organized crime challenges in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. [Read More]


22 October 2014

Photo: UNODC

UNODC Chief meets Fiji's President; says Pacific vulnerable to organized crime

22 October 2014 -The Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Yury Fedotov, today met with Fiji's President Epeli Nailatikau to discuss cooperation against drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism in the Pacific region. He is the highest ranking UN official to meet the President since the general election held on 17 September 2014. [Read More]


14 October 2014

Photo: UNODC

Networking the Networks to fight opiate trafficking

14 October 2014 - The second inter-regional meeting of criminal intelligence experts and investigators under UNODC's 'Networking the Networks' initiative opened today in Doha, Qatar. Co-hosted by the Gulf Cooperation Council's Criminal Intelligence Centre to Combat Drugs, the meeting will look at specific organized crime cases that transcend regional boundaries. The aim is to learn from those experiences and identify areas for cooperation in joint or parallel investigations to dismantle organized crime groups involved in drug trafficking and related crime. [Read More]


13 October 2014

Photo: UNODC

13 October 2014 - One of the most harmful forms of counterfeit goods is fraudulent medicines. In recent years there has been a marked increase in the manufacturing, trade and consumption of these products - often with harmful results, and at times fatal. At a side event during the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) last week, experts discussed the legal tools available to Member States to fight and prosecute criminal trading in medicines. [Read More]

9 October 2014

Poaching of rhinos in the spotlight at organized crime conference

Photo: UNODC

9 October 2014 - Each year, countless species are driven closer to extinction while criminals make billions of dollars from the sale of protected wildlife. At the bloody heart of this conflict is the rhino's horn, a prized ingredient in traditional Asian medicines. After years of being killed for their horns, the wild rhino population in Africa now numbers only about 25,000. During this week's Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime, UNODC drew attention to this issue with an exhibition of award-winning photographs highlighting the devastating impact of wildlife crime. [Read More]

6 October 2014

No room for complacency in global crime fight, says UNODC Chief at crime conference opening

6 October 2014 - UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, in his speech at the opening of the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), said the convention - known as the Palermo Convention - was an extraordinary achievement, but he cautioned Member States that it needed to be nurtured and taken forward.  [Read More]



2 October 2014

Nations to meet for biennial organized crime discussion

Photo: UNODC

2 October 2014 - The Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime will open in Vienna on 6 October with a focus on the cooperation needed to confront criminals. [Read More]




20 August 2014

Synthetic drugs a major drag on development and the rule of law in East and Southeast Asia

East and Southeast Asia remain the world's largest markets for synthetic drugs, and the methamphetamine problem is showing signs of accelerating, according to senior policy, law enforcement and justice delegates at a special regional conference organized by UNODC's Global SMART Programme which started today in Yangon, Myanmar. [Read More]



14 August 2014

Former Colombian coca growers export cocoa to Europe

Photo: UNODC

Today, organized crime is a threat facing countries around the world. Globalizations, as well as advances in transport and technology have increased transnational organized crime. Indonesia, like the rest of the world, is not immune to the threat of organized criminality.

[Read More]

24 July2014

World Drug Day 2014: Activities across the globe

Photo: UNODC

23 July 2014 - UNODC offices around the world organize events each year on 26 June with local communities and governments to celebrate the World Drug Day. People from all regions - Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas - got together this year to spread a message of hope: drug disorders are preventable and treatable. Below is a selection with some of the many events that took place this year.

[Read More]

17 July2014

UNODC Chief meets Austrian Foreign Minister and discusses cooperation on drug and crime issues

Photo: UNODC

23 July 2014 - UNODC offices around the world organize events each 17 July 2014 - UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov expressed his deep appreciation to Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz for the support given by Austria to UNODC's work in the areas of illicit drugs, organized crime, anti-corruption and terrorism.

[Read More]

16 July 2014

Development and alternative crops provide hope in war on illicit drugs - UN

Photo: UNODC

15 July 2014 - Senior United Nations officials today called for a greater focus on development activities and alternative crops in countries where the tight grip of drug lords has disrupted peace, security and development, such as in Afghanistan and Myanmar. 

[Read More]

10 July 2014

Action against drugs and crime supports Mali's peace and development efforts: UNODC Chief Yury Fedotov

UN peacekeepers on patrol in Kidal, Mali. Photo: MINUSMA/Blagoje Grujic

09 July 2014 - UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, said that his joint mission to Mali, alongside the head of the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), Hervé Ladsous, sends a clear message that countering drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism is essential to building peace and development in the country and region.

[Read More]

27 June 2014

UNODC highlights link between organized crime and wildlife crime at UN Environment Assembly

Photo: UNODC

27 June 2014 - During the first United Nations Environment Assembly, concluded today in Nairobi, UNODC highlighted a clear link between wildlife crime and transnational organized crime, and set out how its Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime will play a key role in the fight against this scourge.

[Read More]

29 April 2014

Combating Transnational Organized Crime - Indonesia to comply with the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime

Dr. Wicipto Setiadi, SH, MH, Head of Agency for National Legal Development at the workshop.

13 August 2014 - UNODC works across the world to assist Member States in developing drug control policies which prevent and reduce the cultivation of illicit drug crops, such as coca bush and opium poppy. Lacking viable alternatives, farmers in some isolated and poor communities grow illicit crops.

[Read More]

29 November 2013

Legislative workshop on smuggling of migrants, 21 November 2013, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

From left to right: H.E. Ith Rady, Deputy Secretary of State of Ministry of Justice in charge of Legislation Affairs, H.E. Hi Sophear, Secretary of State of Ministry of Justice in charge of Legislation Affairs, Ms. Riikka Puttonen, UNODC legal expert on Smuggling of Migrants Protocol.

Since its ratification of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air in 2005, the Kingdom of Cambodia has made tremendous progress to tackle the issue of smuggling of migrants. The Ministry of Justice is now about to finalize the draft law on the suppression of smuggling of migrants.

[Read More]

19 Novemebr 2013

UNODC launches new PSA: 'Wildlife crime: Don't be a part of it!'

UNODC's new Wildlife PSA features Internationally renowned Chinese actress Li Bing Bing

19 November 2013 - To highlight the urgent need to address the illegal trade in wildlfe, UNODC's Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific today launched a wildlife crime public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness among young Asians that the buying, selling, and consuming of protected species is illegal and finances organized crime.

[Read More]

30 October 2013

Working Group reaffirms commitment to ensuring effective implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

UN Convention against Organized Crime celebrates 10 years

The seventh session of the Working Group of Government Experts on Technical Assistance closed on Wednesday at UN Headquarters in Vienna. Over a three-day period, the meeting brought together experts from States parties and signatories to the Organized Crime Convention. A number of recommendations on the provision of technical assistance under the Convention were adopted by the Working Group.

[Read More]

29 October 2013

ECOWAS countries, international community renew commitment to tackle transnational organized crime

Said Djinnit, SRSG for West Africa, UNOWA; Yury Fedotov; Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov paid a two-day visit to Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, where he addressed a high-level regional conference to strengthen support for the fight against organized crime and drugs in West Africa.

[Read More]

2 October 2013

UN Convention against Organized Crime celebrates 10 years

UN Convention against Organized Crime celebrates 10 years

Transnational organized crime is big business, generating an estimated $870 billion in profits a year and countless victims. Ten years ago, the first global international instrument to combat it - the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three supplementing Protocols - entered into force, demonstrating the commitment of the international community to tackle this challenge.

[Read More]

27 September 2013 

UN crime body to combat online child abuse

The photo is unrelated to the discussed topic and serves and illustration purpose only.

In Vienna this week a group of experts met to review the effects of new information technology on the abuse and exploitation of children, along with measures that have proven effective in combating it. The meeting brought together experts from the fields of law enforcement, research, industry and academia.

[Read More]

27 September 2013 

Wildlife trafficking is organized crime on a 'massive scale', warns UNODC head

Photo: Cambodia Customs

UNODC's Executive Director Yury Fedotov called on states to strengthen global efforts to combat poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking.

[Read More]

4 September 2013 

Migrant smuggling, ivory trafficking, heroin trafficking, and maritime piracy identified as major organized crime threats in Eastern Africa

Transnational Organized Crime in Eastern Africa: A Threat Assessment

UNODC's latest report provides insight into some of Eastern Africa's principal transnational organized crime threats.

[Read More]

22 July 2013 

UNODC Chief, at ECOSOC panel, stresses need to promote rule of law, combat drugs, crime in post-2015 development agenda

 UNODC Chief, at ECOSOC panel, stresses need to promote rule of law, combat drugs, crime in post-2015 development agenda

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, addressing a panel discussion of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in Geneva, underscored the links between combating drugs and crime and achieving sustainable development.

The discussion, which was held on 22 July 2013 as part of ECOSOC's substantive session this month, focused on "the Vienna-based Commissions and the importance of drug control, crime prevention and criminal justice in the context of the post-2015 development agenda, including the issue of human trafficking".

[Read More]

3 July 2013 

UNODC chief meets with international security officials to discuss combating money laundering, securing transport

Photo: UNODC

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov attended an international meeting of high-level officials dealing with security in Vladivostok, Russia, on 2 and 3 July 2013.  On the margins of the event, he also met Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Meng Jianzhu, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security.

[Read More]

19 June 2013 

Sahel region countries agree to cooperate in response to illicit trafficking, organized crime and terrorism

Photo: UNODC

Representatives from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco and Niger met last week in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, to agree on areas of cooperation for the next four and a half years to address the interconnected problems of drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism that have plagued the region for the last decade. During a two-day long discussion, delegates agreed on a number of measures as part of a UNODC response strategy for the Sahel.

[Read More]

  4 June 2013 

UNODC signs joint plan of action with Japan for cooperation on Africa, Southeast Asia and Afghanistan

Photo: UNODC

The Executive Director of UNODC, Yury Fedotov, welcomed the signing of a new Joint Plan of Action with Japan. Mr. Fedotov was in Japan to attend the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), which concluded in Yokohama on Monday, 3 June 2013.

[Read More]

24 May 2013

Helping countries keep track of the money

Photo: UNODC

Money-laundering is a complex crime to tackle as criminals go out of their way to hide their methods. In today's world, money can be moved instantly between jurisdictions, leaving efficient anti-money-laundering work heavily reliant on sophisticated computer equipment and highly skilled enforcement personnel. In many parts of the world, such crime-fighting assets cannot be taken for granted. The end result: a financial sector vulnerable to abuse by criminals.

[Read More]

14 May 2013

Azeri President visits Vienna, discusses international affairs with the Director General of UN Office in Vienna

Photo: UNODC

President Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev of the Republic of Azerbaijan visited the United Nations Office in Vienna (UNOV). In a meeting with Yury Fedotov, the Director General of UNOV, who is also the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the President showed great interest in the work of both organizations. Azerbaijan has maintained an active role in international affairs since it was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2012-2013.

[Read More]

9 May 2013

UNODC and Brazilian government launch Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil

Photo: UNODC

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov has launched the new UNODC Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil together with the Secretary of National Drug Policy of the Ministry of Justice, Vitore Maximiano.   Mr. Fedotov traveled to the country this week to formalize this new partnership with the Brazilian government: "The opening of a Liaison and Partnership Office in Brazil is a very important moment in the development of UNODC's integrated response to illicit drugs and transnational organized crime".

[Read More]

8 May 2013

UNODC Chief highlights importance of social inclusion in crime prevention during visit to Police Pacification Unit in Rio de Janeiro

Photo: UNODC

On the first day of his visit to Rio de Janeiro, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov visited on Tuesday a Police Pacification Unit (UPP) that has been serving the communities of Pavão-Pavãozinho/Cantagalo, in Ipanema, since December 2009. The UPP Social programme aims to promote social inclusion measures and access to citizenship in the locations served by UPPs.

[Read More]

3 May 2013

'Safe to Speak' against organized crime and corruption - World Press Freedom Day

Each week a journalist loses his or her life for bringing news and information to the public's attention and securing the safety of those individuals working in the media is an urgent matter. The theme of this year's World Press Freedom Day, "Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media", highlights the need for action to uphold the right of journalists to carry out their vital work.

[Read More]

29 April 2013

Crime Commission closes on reminder that rule of law protects against violence, oppression and injustice

Photo: UNODC

The 22nd Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice ended last week by emphasizing the importance of the rule of law and its role in supporting men, women and children across the world.

[Read More]

23 April 2013

Heads of UNODC and CITES urge wildlife and forest offences to be treated as serious transnational organized crimes

Photo: UNODC

At the current Commission for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), the heads of two United Nations bodies called on countries to recognize wildlife and forest crimes as a serious form of organized crime and strengthen penalties against criminal syndicates and networks profiting from such illegal trade.

[Read More]

22 April 2013

"We cannot allow the criminals to prosper from their crimes" says UNODC Executive Director

Photo: UNODC

Opening the Twenty-Second session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov focused on the impact of crime on social and economic development: "We know that weak and fragile states, especially those damaged by conflict, are more vulnerable to drugs and crime. And we know that crime undermines sustainable development, hinders access to education and employment, and drives away foreign and domestic investors."

[Read More]

19 April 2013

Victims of terrorism, wildlife crime, and violence against women and children to be discussed at this year's UN Crime Commission

Photo: UNODC

With over 20 resolutions tabled, and many more topical side events, the 22nd Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) will open this Monday, 22 April 2013 in Vienna, Austria. The Commission will have a strong focus on countering new emerging crimes, such as the protection of wildlife, as well as on key social issues including the safety of women and children and the provision of support for the victims of terrorism.

[Read More]

16 April 2013

First comprehensive UNODC study on transnational organized crime threats in East Asia and the Pacific

Photo: UNODC

UNODC launched today an assessment of the transnational organized crime threat in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. This vast region has experienced rapid economic and social changes during the past few decades which have created considerable regulation challenges for public authorities. The report takes a look at the manner in which criminal enterprises have developed alongside legitimate commerce in recent years, creating contraband markets valued at approximately US$ 90 billion.

[Read More]

11 April 2013

Continuing progress for the UNODC/WCO Container Control Programme

Photo: UNODC

The joint UNODC/World Customs Organization Container Control Programme continues to expand. From the four-country pilot start-up phase in 2006, the Programme is now active in 41 countries across the world, and seizure data show its impact very clearly. In 2012 alone, more than 11 tons of cocaine, 17 tons of cannabis and 434 tons of precursor chemicals needed for the production of illicit drugs were seized in ports where the Programme is active. Additionally, there were significant seizures of other contraband, such as cigarettes, endangered species and counterfeit products.

[Read More]

4 March 2013

Wildlife crime firmly on the UNODC agenda in South-East Asia

Photo: UNODC

South-East Asia is both an origin and destination region for the illegal wildlife trade. As a result, wildlife crime is an important issue for the UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok. Recently, several political and operational achievements have boosted UNODC's work to counter wildlife crime.

[Read More]

25 February 2013

Tracking transnational organized crime in West Africa

Photo: UNODC

While transnational organized crime markets and the vast profits they generate clearly continue to fuel instability and hinder development in West Africa, solid information about these markets is hard to come by. A new UNODC report, Transnational Organized Crime in West Africa: a Threat Assessment, sheds some light on some of the key crime issues that affect the region and provides recommendations for the international community to tackle these problems.

[Read More]

22 February 2013
The StAR initiative: Stepping up a gear

Photo: UNODC

The joint UNODC/World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds. The last couple of years has seen unprecedented political upheaval in the Arab world which has fuelled interest in the issues of corruption and stolen assets. Calls for the return of illicit funds have resonated widely throughout the Middle East and also echoed beyond it, which has provided both opportunities and challenges for StAR.  The initiative has found itself increasingly in demand globally, trying to satisfy the need for its expertise, training and advice in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, East Asia and elsewhere.

[Read More]

14 February 2013

Experts discuss the role of organized crime in the production and trade of fraudulent medicines

Photo: UNODC

A high-level conference opened today in Vienna, Austria, on the illicit trafficking of fraudulent medicines - a form of transnational organized crime which threatens public safety. Fraudulent medicines have proven to be harmful and at times fatal, as well as an increasingly lucrative area for organized criminal networks.

[Read More]

18 January 2013

Intergovernmental expert group to conduct a comprehensive study of the problem of cybercrime to take place from 25 to 28 February 2013 in Vienna, Austria

Photo: UNODC

The second meeting of the Open-ended intergovernmental expert group to conduct a comprehensive study of the problem of cybercrime will take place from 25 to 28 February 2013 in Vienna, Austria.

[Read More]

15 January 2013

Myanmar joins the PATROL counter-trafficking effort in the Greater Mekong Sub-region

Photo: UNODC

Myanmar took an important step recently by joining the ongoing regional counter-smuggling effort supported by UNODC in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The project PATROL ( Partnership Against Transnational crime through Regional Organized Law Enforcement) already links Cambodia, Thailand and Viet Nam with UNODC in an effort to counteract transnational organized crime in all its forms - including the smuggling of migrants, drugs, chemical precursors, natural resources and hazardous substances.

[Read More]

11 December 2012

UNODC Executive Director: To save the orangutan, we must break the links between illegal timber trade, corruption and transnational organized crime

(c) Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre

Environmental crimes, often financed and organized by transnational organized criminal groups, are destroying habitats and endangering species around the world. Noting UNODC estimates that up to 40 per cent of wood-products exported from East Asia and the Pacific may be produced from illegally harvested wood, the organization's Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, has urged policy makers to consider environmental crimes a serious form of transnational organized crime and called on them to endorse "radical changes", good governance and the strong involvement of the criminal justice system to save endangered species, communities and habitats.

[Read More]

6 December 2012

Lao PDR "extremely vulnerable" to trafficking by transnational organized crime groups, says UNODC Executive Director

Photo: UNODC

Lao PDR's position at the hub of the Greater Mekong Subregion and its shared borders with Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam make it "extremely vulnerable" to the trafficking of people, illicit drugs and commodities by transnational organized crime groups, warned Yury Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director. He said this was true despite the country's economic reforms, impressive economic growth rates and its efforts to combat corruption.

[Read More]

29 November 2012

UNODC Executive Director offers support to Thailand to fight "region's worsening organized crime and illicit drug trafficking problem"

Photo: UNODC

Recognizing Thailand's pursuit of rule of law-based efforts to counter illicit drug and human trafficking, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov pledged the organization's support to the country's struggle against these human security threats.  Mr. Fedotov, who touched down in Thailand yesterday at the start of an official 12-day mission to the region, made his comments today when he met the Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Surapong Tovichakchaikul, at the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok.

[Read More]

23 November 2012

"We must isolate piracy's ringleaders and financiers"

Photo: UNODC

After visiting Seychelles, Kenya, and Somalia, the counter-piracy mission of UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, ended today in Mauritius. During the visit to East Africa, the UNODC Chief discussed counter-piracy efforts with heads of state and ministers, met with local counter-piracy and organized crime experts, and inspected prisons, and a training academy. [Read More]

19 November 2012

Governance and the rule of law in East Africa: UNODC's support for training and infrastructure in tackling piracy

Photo: UNODC

Good governance and the rule of law are two areas seen as crucial in building a safer world for all. However, in areas which have been devastated by war and unrest, public institutions which work to provide this security can be lacking. As part of UNODC's assistance in strengthening this, the organization's Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, this week visited Eastern Africa, including Puntland which for years suffered from civil war and is busy re-building its institutions with UNODC's assistance. [Read More]

16 November 2012

Piracy in East Africa: How the Seychelles works to tackle a global issue

Photo: UNODC

Piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the waters along the Eastern Africa coastline has had a harmful effect on many areas both locally and globally. While the movement of international freight through this strategic location has been harmed, the everyday livelihoods of millions of locals have also suffered. Discussing this with officials in the Seychelles during a series of meetings in the region, Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC, acknowledged the impact that piracy has had on the Seychelles - particularly in key sectors such as tourism and fishing. [Read More]

30 October 2012

Trafficking in cultural property - organized crime and the theft of our past

Photo: UNODC

Transnational organized crime is often associated with cross-border activities around areas such as illicit arms, drugs and human trafficking. However, this link is often overlooked when it comes to the issue of trafficking in cultural property. While there is evidence of a substantial amount of looting around the world, so far the actions to combat trafficking in cultural property have not yet matched the gravity nor the extent of the crime. Despite well-established agreements and legislation by bodies such as UNESCO to curb the buying and selling of illegally excavated artefacts, it is only in recent years that international efforts to tackle the role of organized criminal networks that perpetuate this crime have come to the fore. [Read More]

21 October 2012

Vienna conference closes after week long discussion on transnational organized crime

Photo: UNODC

The Sixth Session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime closed Friday. Over a five day period, the Conference brought together more than 800 delegates, 107 States Parties and 6 signatories. Progress was made in a number of resolutions including the illicit manufacturing and trafficking of firearms; the smuggling of migrants over land, sea and air; and the provision of technical assistance under UNTOC. [Read More]

16 October 2012

UNODC's new crime fighting tool turns lessons of the past into policies for the future

Photo: UNODC

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov today announced the launch of a new tool in the fight against organized crime at an event also attended by the Italian Minister for Interior and other distinguished guests. The Digest of Organized Crime is based on an analysis of more than 200 cases and the accumulated knowledge of over 50 experts. [Read More]

16 October 2012


International cooperation on extradition and the confiscation of proceeds of crime

Photo: UNODC

Global problems require global solutions. Like transnational organized crime, the efforts to combat transnational organized crime must cross borders. This involves international cooperation and mutual assistance in responding to organized crime. At an operational level there must be effective coordination, a knowledgeable group of practitioners, and a desire to move the law forward. Towards this end, two new manuals have been developed with the view to strengthen international cooperation on mutual legal assistance, strengthening nation States' capacity to extradite organized criminals and to confiscate the profits of their criminal activities. [Read more]

15 October 2012

Proceeds of transnational crime in billions, number of victims in millions, says UNODC chief

Photo: UNODC UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov today said that crime preyed on countries where the rule of law and other institutions were vulnerable to criminals. The remarks were made at the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. [Read More]

12 October 2012

New UNODC handbook on the international transfer of sentenced persons

Photo: UNODC

The Handbook on the International Transfer of Sentenced Persons has been developed to explain how returning sentenced persons to their country of nationality or permanent residence to serve their sentences can contribute to the fair, effective and just treatment of foreign offenders. The primary focus of the handbook is on arrangements that can be made to transfer sentenced persons, so they can serve their sentences in accordance with the laws of the receiving State. [Read more]


11 October 2012

UNODC develops Model Legislative Provisions against Organized Crime

Photo: UNODCIn the fight against transnational organized crime international consistency in national State legislation is vital. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has developed the Manual of Model Legislative Provisions against Organized Crime in order to assist Member States in implementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols Thereto (UNTOC). [Read more]



2 October 2012

Sixth session of Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime to be held in Vienna

Photo: UNODCMedia Advisory: Press Conference

Progress in international efforts to address transnational organized crime will be the focus of the sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime, to be held in Vienna from 15 to 19 October. Ministers and officials from Member States will address a wide range of organized crime-related issues requiring effective legal responses, law enforcement and criminal justice, including new and emerging issues such as trafficking in cultural property and cybercrime. [Read more]

29 September 2012

UNODC chief presents transnational organized crime study for Central America and the Caribbean to Member States

Photo: UNODC

UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov presented a new UNODC study entitled Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and the Caribbean: A Threat Assessment to country representatives from the region. The event, held in New York, was attended by the Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Italy, Mr. Staffan De Mistura.

The study examines the impact of major trafficking flows of cocaine; women and children coerced into the sex trade; migrants smuggled for labour; and firearms. [Read more]

19 September 2012

As Central America confronts violence, our role is to offer assistance, says head of UNODC

Photo: UNODC

After meeting the President of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov expressed his full support for the country's activities against illicit drugs and crime.

In a conversation with the President, Mr. Fedotov also reiterated the support of UNODC for a revised Central American Security Strategy. He noted that countries cannot confront those issues alone and stressed the need for an integrated approach connecting Central America to other regions while also promoting regional cooperation. Read more here.

15 September 2012

UNODC video on transnational organized crime reaches 60,000 views

Photo: UNODC

A UNODC campaign video to raise awareness about transnational organized crime has been viewed online by more than 60,000 people worldwide and aired on television stations such as Bloomberg, Deutsche Welle, Vox Africa and Spanish TVE since its launch in July. The video will be shown at this year's pre-Oscar screening sessions hosted by Variety Magazine in New York and Los Angeles, with further broadcasting planned via other international media, including CNBC.

The video is part of an extensive multilingual campaign available at, which is being rolled out through online channels such as YouTube, Weibo, Facebook and Twitter and by international broadcasters. The campaign illustrates the key financial and social costs of organized crime and includes fact sheets containing recent statistics on various crimes. Read more here.

13 September 2012

Plundering Mother Nature - wildlife, forests and the effects of organized crime

Photo: UNODCEnvironmental crime, particularly trafficking in wildlife and timber, is a significant source of illegal income for criminals. For example, estimates place the trade in illegal timber from South-East Asia to the European Union and Asia in 2010 at $3.5 billion, while the sale of elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts in Asia alone was worth $75 million in the same year. As a form of transnational organized crime, trafficking in wildlife and timber forms is the subject of a new campaign by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Information on the awareness campaign, which aims to draw attention to the various aspects of transnational organized crime, can be found at and includes a video available at and through international broadcasters. The website and video illustrate the key financial and social costs of organized crime, including environmental crime. Read more here.

23 August 2012

Guyana and Suriname are first Caribbean countries to join Container Control Programme

Photo: UNODCGuyana and Suriname are the first two Caribbean countries to join the highly successful Container Control Programme, which works with countries to improve port security and prevent the illegal use of sea containers in drug trafficking and transnational organized criminal activities, such as trafficking in chemicals used in the manufacture of drugs (precursors), smuggling of goods (including counterfeit goods), tax evasion and possible terrorist acts.

This week, the two countries signed memorandums of understanding with UNODC that will see the establishment of joint port control units in Port Georgetown (the John Fernandes port) in Guyana and Nieuwe Haven port in Suriname. Read more here.

26 July 2012

Criminals rake in $250 billion per year in counterfeit goods that pose health and security risks

Photo: UNODCCounterfeiting is estimated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to generate some $250 billion a year in criminal proceeds. As a form of transnational organized crime, counterfeiting forms part of a new campaign by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The campaign, which aims to bring attention to the various aspects of organized crime, can be seen on and includes a new awareness-raising video which is being rolled out online ( as well as through international broadcasters. This illustrates the key financial and social costs behind organized crime and reveals the dangers of counterfeit goods to health and safety. The campaign page also includes a dedicated section and Fact Sheet on counterfeit products ( Read more here.

25 July 2012

ICCWC launches wildlife and forest crime toolkit

Photo: UNODCThe International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), of which UNODC is a member, has launched its Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit and announced that it has secured $600,000 for the current fiscal year through the World Bank Development Grant Facility (DGF) to strengthen national enforcement capacities to fight wildlife crime. Read more here.



16 July 2012

New UNODC campaign highlights transnational organized crime as an US$ 870 billion a year business

Photo: UNODCUNODC today launched a new global awareness-raising campaign emphasizing the size and cost of transnational organized crime. Profiling this multibillion dollar a year threat to peace, human security and prosperity, the campaign illustrates the key financial and social costs of this international problem through a new public service announcement video and dedicated fact sheets for journalists. With a turnover estimated to be around US$ 870 billion a year, organized criminal networks profit from the sale of illegal goods wherever there is a demand. These immense illicit funds are worth more than 6 times the amount of official development assistance, and are comparable to 1.5 per cent of global GDP, or 7 per cent of the world's exports of merchandise. See more at

29 June 2012

Making a dent in counterfeit goods and drug shipments

Photo: UNODC

The Container Control Programme (CCP) - a joint UNODC/World Customs Organization project working to boost the inspection of containers and detect illicit goods - continues to have an impressive success rate, yielding positive results at an ever-increasing pace. Initially established to counter drug trafficking, the CCP has rapidly expanded to become a major tool in tackling fraudulent goods. Since its inception, the programme has led to the seizure of 487 containers of fraudulent and contraband goods alongside a further 195 containers of drugs, the latter comprising more than 60 tons of cocaine, 49 tons of cannabis and 807 tons of precursor chemicals used in the production of synthetic drugs. A number of other black-market goods have also been discovered, ranging from endangered species to stolen luxury cars to priceless cultural artefacts and archaeological treasures. Read more here.

22 June 2012

General Assembly to hold thematic debate on drugs, crime and development

The General Assembly will hold a thematic debate on drugs and crime as a threat to development on Tuesday 26 June in New York.

The event, convened on International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, highlights the impact of drugs and crime on poverty alleviation and the Millennium Development Goals, and discusses ways of improving the international community's coordinated efforts to address the adverse impact of drugs and crime on development. Two panel discussions will focus on challenges in mainstreaming drug control and crime prevention into development initiatives. Read more here.