Support to the Maldives on Counter-Terrorism


PROJECT DURATION : 1 January 2020 – 30 June 2021



LOCATION: Maldives                      




The overall objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of the Maldivian law enforcement agencies to prevent and combat terrorism in the archipelago. The project is implemented jointly between UNODC and INTERPOL.

The specific objectives are divided into four components:

  1. Enhancing overall security capacity on islands with tourist presence. This component is implemented by UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP);
  2. Strengthening capacity of Maldives Correctional Service to prevent and counter the proliferation of violent extremist ideology. This component is implemented by UNODC’s Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA);
  3. Supporting the judiciary to ensure that terrorism and violent extremism cases are adjudicated fairly and effectively, with an emphasis of (Returned) Foreign Terrorist Fighters (R)FTFs. This component is implemented by UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch (TPB).
  4. Developing and strengthening law enforcement capabilities to prevent and disrupt terrorism and/or terrorist-related activities. This component is implemented by INTERPOL.

The main focus of the project is to improve the overall capacity of Government of Maldives in preventing and countering terrorist acts, as well as adequately prosecuting terrorism and violent extremism cases. The Strategic Action Plan 2019-2023, issued by the Government of Maldives to outline the developmental targets and priorities for the five-year period, identifies rule of law, judicial reform, prison reform and island security as government priorities, indicating that the competency and capacity of law enforcement agencies must be developed.



Using a multi-faceted approach for achieving sustainability of results and impact of its interventions, UNODC and INTERPOL will achieve the objectives stated above through the following activities:


Component 1: Strengthening island security. 

GMCP seeks to develop an enabling environment to standardise security capability across the archipelago. Through this component, GMCP seeks to:

  • Strengthen the compliance monitoring and training capability of minimum-security standards guidelines in contribution to the efforts made by the Government.
  • Support the drafting of crisis management guidelines for targeted island councils in hybrid islands (locally inhabited with established/growing tourism industry) and deliver training on security preparedness and response.
  • Enhance the response capability of the maritime law enforcement agencies to critical incident by improving their command, control and communication capacity.


Component 2: Preventing and countering violent extremism in prisons.

ROSA will support the Maldives Correctional Services to prevent the proliferation of violent extremist ideology by:

  • Developing an assessment tool, specific to Maldives, to evaluate and segregate differing levels of radicalisation to prevent wider contamination within the prison environment.
  • Supporting the development of programmes to reinforce alternate narratives to prevent violent extremism ideology proliferating within prison settings.
  • Facilitating engagement with community leaders on islands that will have returning prisoners for re-integration and developing practical measures to positively assist returning prisoners reintegrate with the island community.


Component 3: Improving judiciary’s capability.

TPB will support the judiciary for the successful prosecution of terrorism and violent extremism-related criminal cases by:

  • Conducting national consultative missions, comparative best practices and cross-regional practical training workshops with simulated exercises and study tours to strengthen a rule-of-law-based approach to counter-terrorism adjudication and develop of a national strategy on RFTFs.
  • Promoting the application of international human rights norms, standards and good practices in countering terrorism, in line with the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.


Component 4: Enhancing law enforcement capacity.

The four main priorities to be addressed by INTERPOL are: 

  • Criminal Intelligence Analysis: increasing the number of analysts and enhancing their capabilities to conduct operational and strategic analysis.
  • Crime and Post-Blast Scene Management and Forensics: improving capacity to plan and conduct examination of crime scenes, to protect the integrity of evidence, secure areas, examine and document scene, use of equipment, development of standard operating procedures, inter alia.
  • Equipment and Software: procuring vital technical equipment to improve the effectiveness of investigative entities to efficiently conduct their tasks in a timely manner.
  • Foundational and Specialized training: reinforcing both beneficiary countries’ law enforcement’s capabilities to address terrorism or related activities through firstly basic foundational skills training followed by specialized training and continuous mentoring for updating and sustainability purposes.



Periodical updates on key project events and news highlights are available on the following UNODC websites:

  • Global Maritime Crime Programme here;
  • Terrorism Prevention Branch website here;



Mr. Troels Vester

Senior Programme Manager

UNODC Programme Office in Sri Lanka