Ms. Ashita Mittal: promoting judicial integrity remains a core priority for Central Asian States

UNODC recently partnered with ODIHR/OSCE and OHCHR to organize an online forum on “Criminal Justice in Central Asia: Recent Developments, Challenges and Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic”.

We used the opportunity to talk to our Regional Representative in Central Asia, Ms. Ashita Mittal on UNODC’s engagement to promote criminal justice reforms in the region.

Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia:

First, UNODC supports the global judicial integrity network. We appreciate the engagement of Central Asian judiciaries in this initiative since it was established following the latest UN Crime Congress in Doha in 2015. Certainly, continued work on judicial integrity and more broadly on ensuring judicial independence remains a core priority for Central Asian States.

Second, we recently published the Russian version of our UNODC Handbook on Ensuring Quality of Legal Aid Services in Criminal Justice Processes. This can become an important tool for Central Asian states in their efforts to improve the availability and quality of legal aid. Mechanisms of quality control need to be established for legal aid providers. UNODC stands ready to further provide its support also with a view to promoting independent and self-governing bar associations, which are essential to provide a mechanism for the legal profession to carry out its activities without any external interference.

Third, the Russian version of UNODC’s Handbook on Prisoner Classification has just come out. Developing clear methodology for risk assessment and classification of prisoners and the implementation of individual sentencing plans are fairly new for Central Asia. We are glad to see active engagement of prison administrations around the region to move in this direction.

I encourage the Central Asian countries to continue implementing reforms, which increase the application of alternatives to incarceration, promote social reintegration of offenders and place prevention at the heart of the criminal justice system.

Let us all continue to work together and strive towards concrete results and changes for the wellbeing and safety of all the people in the region. By working together, we can strengthen a culture of lawfulness and promote the rule of law for the sustainable development of our societies.


Интервью на русском.

For more information, please contact

Vasilina Brazhko (Mrs.)

UNODC Communication and PR Specialist

At +996775987817 (Whats App)

E-mail: vasilina.brazhko[at]