Successful cooperation between UNODC and the Criminal Justice Task Force of Afghanistan

The Criminal Justice Task Force (CJTF) was established in January 2005 by the government of Afghanistan, with support from UNODC and donor countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada and Belgium. The aim was to bring offenders of drug related crimes to justice quickly. It was created to fast-track major drug cases within Afghanistan. The Task Force is made up of key investigators, prosecutors and judges. It is based in Kabul but is also operative in the provinces. The purpose is to strengthen the institutional capacity to arrest, investigate and detain criminal offenders suspected and convicted of drug related crimes. In 2012 the CJTF Prosecution Directorate successfully completed the investigation and prosecution of 588 serious narcotics and intoxicating drinks cases based on the Law Against Intoxicating Drinks and Narcotics, which they received from CJTF Investigation and Laboratory Department.

Over the last few years the CJTF has worked in close cooperation with UNODC's project "Drug law enforcement systems for criminal intelligence collection, analysis and exchange", funded by the Canadian government. A number of intelligence analysis training courses of different levels for Task Forces staff were conducted by International Experts. IT equipment, including hardware, software and local area network were procured and installed. The project also provides continuous support and guidance to the Task Force members through a mentorship mechanism, which facilitates advisory services.

The Ministry of Counter Narcotics of Afghanistan is the main governmental coordinating body for the CJTF program, and is implementing activities in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court and Office of the Attorney General. One of the biggest challenges that the Ministry of Counter Narcotics has in developing the report is getting current and reliable data.

The Ministry of Counter Narcotics currently recognizes that the CJTF is one of the best Afghan entities for providing reliable data/statistics that are coherent, current and useful for the Drug Report. Through this project, the CJTF's capacity is reinforced.

It is encouraging that UNODC, with Canada's financial support, is reinforcing the work that is carried out under different activities of the CJTF.