Criminal justice systems

Organized crime groups and criminals in West and Central Africa generate billions in revenues. Judicial authorities play a crucial role in ensuring these criminals are brought to justice. Many countries in the region however suffer from a lack of mechanisms for criminal justice matters and are also affected by a lack of mutual legal assistance (MLA) capacity and networks, which obstructs cooperation and coordination efforts to combat transnational organized crime.

Sound rule of law, building integrity, addressing impunity, and developing a professional judicial culture are all essential pre-requisites for peace and stability in the region. International cooperation among judicial, prosecutorial, and law enforcement authorities is increasingly essential.

By improving and strengthening criminal justice systems in West and Central Africa, UNODC is contributing to an environment that promotes and advances justice and stability by:

  • Strengthening regional criminal justice systems through the establishment of international standards and norms and the enhancement of police capacities for crime prevention;
  • Providing regional cooperation mechanisms and strengthening legal and policy frameworks for MLA and asset recovery;
  • Advocating for the adoption and implementation of UN standards and norms on crime prevention and criminal justice throughout the region;
  • Enhancing cross-border cooperation and information exchange mechanisms.

Additional Information

Tools and publications on crime prevention and criminal justice