UNODC Promotes Crime Prevention and Public Safety in Uzbekistan

In early February 2019, UNODC partnered with the General Prosecutor's Office to organize a round table discussion on public safety and crime prevention in Uzbekistan. The event was aimed at supporting the Uzbek authorities with the development and implementation of new, more socially-oriented and evidence-based crime prevention strategies.

"National strategies of Uzbekistan are shifting from combatting the consequences of crime to crime prevention, identifying the causes of crime and reducing risk factors", said Mr. Uygun Nigmadjanov, Deputy Director of the Academy of the General Prosecutor's Office.

Representatives of the General Prosecutor's Office (GPO), the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA), the Ministry of Public Education, the Ministry of Physical Education and Sports, as well as staff of the GPO Academy's Centre for Research and Analysis of the Causes of Crime, the Tashkent Prosecutor's Office and teachers of the Police Academy and MIA Training Centre attended the event.

The roundtable served to discuss Uzbekistan's laws, policies and practices and to present international standards and good practices in the field of crime prevention. In line with Presidential Degree #4075 of 24 December 2018, Uzbek authorities are taking measures to strengthen data collection and coordination on crime prevention.

Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, noted the importance of crime prevention for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. "By 2030, it is estimated that almost sixty per cent of the world's population will live in cities. In urban areas, crime and violence can undermine growth and impede social development, particularly affecting the poor", Ms. Mittal stated.

The vital role of local government as the layer of government closest to the people was discussed during the roundtable. "UNODC contributes to "localizing" the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development for policy-makers and planners, including in Uzbekistan. This can be at the level of cities given that in an urbanised world the success of the SDGs resides in large part in cities. At the same time, promoting crime prevention in local communities, including in border areas, is important".

During the event, Mr. Johannes de Haan, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Officer from UNODC's Justice Section in Vienna presented the methodology of UNODC's Line Up Live Up program on youth crime prevention through sports, which is implemented as part of the implementation of the Doha Declaration adopted at the latest UN Crime Congress in 2015. Piloting of this initiative, which strengthens youth resilience to crime, violence and drug use by enhancing their personal and social skills and increasing their knowledge on the risks associated with these phenomena, is foreseen in Uzbekistan.

Mr. Timur Shaihutdinov, Co-Chair of the Public Foundation "Civic Union" from Kyrgyzstan shared good practices and lessons learned on the development of social partnerships between local authorities, police and communities on crime prevention and the implementation of crime prevention action plans based on inclusive and participatory approaches. Recommendations were made to introduce the practice of organizing crime victim surveys, which gauge householders' experience of common crime.

Following the roundtable, the General Prosecutor's Office facilitated a visit to the Chilanzar district in Tashkent. This is one of the pilot districts for the implementation of new crime prevention measures. During the visit, members of a local working group, including local authorities, law enforcement officials and representatives from various community-based social support structures, educational and business start-up centres for youth and other population groups, discussed crime and safety crime issues of relevance to their district and joint measures undertaken to promote public safety.      

The discussion was organized within the framework of the 2015-2019 UNODC Program for Central Asia, which supports Central Asian States to develop and implement evidence-based crime prevention and community resilience strategies.

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