Special Newsletter from UNODC South  Asia 

June 2021

Building Back from COVID-19:
Strengthening Security, Peace, Justice and Health
Nepal: UNODC strengthens law enforcement capacities on countering wildlife crime
On 2-4 June, a National Consultation was held with government agencies in Nepal on preventing and combatting wildlife crime, with a focus on legislative and prosecution aspects. The online consultation was attended by 32 officials from the Department of Forests, Attorney General’s Office and district attorneys from various provinces, Department of Money Laundering Investigations, and Judges. The Consultation involved group work, case studies and concluded with the officials laying down the key challenges in the country and prioritised needs going forward. This event was the first in a series of a number of national consultations planned in South Asia. The consultation was held as a part of regional activities being implemented by UNODC, as a part of a WLFC global programme. 

(Supported by US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs)
Maldives: Providing legislative support on countering  Smuggling of Migrants  
In June, UNODC convened a series of technical discussions on countering Smuggling of Migrants with officials from the Attorney General’s Office and the Prosecutor General’s Office in the Maldives. The discussions were focused on strengthening the draft Smuggling of Migrants Act of the Maldives. The provisions of the draft Act have been modified to enable effective prosecutions and to further strengthen aspects related to human rights and victim support. The revised draft will be submitted to the two agencies for taking forward the process of submission to the Parliament later in the year. These technical meetings have been held under a joint global/regional project managed by UNODC, with generous support from the Government of Sweden.
(Supported by Government
of Sweden)
Maldives: Strengthening Prisoner Rehabilitation and Reintegration Pathways 
On 7-8 June, UNODC held discussions with the Maldives Institute for Psychological Services Training and Research (MIPSTAR) and NGO Journey to strengthen the design and delivery of a set of trainings planned for prison and custodial officers in the Maldives. The trainings will focus on psychosocial education and drug education awareness, and will be held in July 2021. The trainings are aimed at supporting national prison officials in engaging with civil society organizations and local community and to strengthen their capacity to respond to vulnerabilities such as mental health and substance use disorders in prisons. These areas have been prioritized by the prison authorities as key factors conducive to radicalization in prisons.  
(Supported by
European Union)
India: UNODC promotes the health and justice agenda in education with government counterparts and youth

In June, UNODC Regional Representative for South Asia Mr. Sergey Kapinos held strategic meetings with the Joint Secretary (Institutions) at the Ministry of Education, Government of India and the Director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training. The discussions focused on the success and impact of UNODC’s Education for Justice Initiative and its alignment with the life skills and ethics component of India’s New Education Policy 2020. The impact of the Lockdown Learners series, which has reached thousands of young people and educators across 15 States/UTs of India was highlighted and discussed at length. UNODC programmes on Family Skills and drug use prevention, focused on enhancing health and well-being of young people, were also presented. The officials welcomed and appreciated these efforts and expressed interest in exploring a joint action framework with UNODC, in consultation with other government stakeholders.
India: UNODC 'Lockdown Learners' strengthen peace, SDGs and COVID-19 responses 
As part of the ‘Lockdown Learners’ series (in support of the global 'Education for Justice Initiative'), UNODC continued to mobilise and provide knowledge support to online youth collectives in developing community outreach and advocacy tools on vaccines, COVID-19 precautions and awareness on essential helplines and information. Over 22 interactive dialogues were conducted with student groups in June, and community outreach conducted through 9 Whatsapp groups and online platforms. Nearly 600 students and community members in 7 Indian states have joined hands to support COVID-19 responses using this network-centered approach. With UNODC support, students are disseminating credible information and building support groups on SDGs, gender equality and peace. 

(Supported by the Government
of Qatar)
Maldives: Capacity building for judges on effective legal responses to terrorism
On 26-28 June, UNODC organized and delivered the first Train-the-Trainer Workshop for Judges for the Effective Adjudication of Terrorism Cases for judges of local magistrate courts, with funding by the European Union. The workshop touched upon fundamental topics for the work of the judges in the adjudication of terrorism cases, including ways to ensure judges’ safeguard and court security, mutual legal assistance, electronic evidence and other evidentiary issues, witness testimony and protection, and confiscation of criminal proceeds. The workshop also included a dedicated session on adult learning techniques, seeking to provide participants with the necessary competences to disseminate knowledge and skills acquired throughout the event.  

(Supported by the
European Union)
Bangladesh: UNODC bridges the gap between law enforcement, civil society and communities to address drug use and HIV

Under two ongoing projects, UNODC convened a multi-stakeholder consultation in to develop a training curriculum on drugs and HIV/AIDS for Bangladesh Police in June. This curriculum will also be translated into Bangla for wider coverage and impact. The aim is to promote a more humane and rights-based approach among laew enforcement agencies to address the concerns of people who use drugs and people living with HIV and AIDS. UNODC Regional Representative for South Asia, Mr. Sergey Kapinos addressed the meeting, joined by officials from law enforcement, UN and civil society in Bangladesh. On 24 June, UNODC also unveiled a special documentary highlighting the impact of the Strong Families Programme piloted in Cox’s Bazaar for Rohingya Refugees. Communities in humanitarian settings are vulnerable to drug use and other negative social outcomes. However, families can be leveraged as a supportive and influential structure to address this. Strong Families is a tool produced by UNODC in line with the UNODC-WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention.

(Supported by UBRAF and UNHCR)
Bangladesh: Promoting Nelson Mandela Rules to strengthen prison management
With support from US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs to mitigate COVID-19 risks,  UNODC experts met with Inspector General of Prisons, Bangladesh to enhance cooperation on prison reform. The meeting focused on providing personal protective equipment and health supplies in prisons, promoting the Nelson Mandela Rules and non-custodial measures.

(Supported by US Bureau of International Narcotics and
Law Enforcement Affairs)
Bangladesh: Engaging young people to counter Trafficking in Persons

On 20 June, UNODC facilitated interactive dialogues for young people on “Challenges and Ways forward on Countering Trafficking in Persons during COVID-19 pandemic” at the Nelson Mandela International Summer School organised by Centre des droits de l'homme (Centre for Human Rights), Université Kongo, Africa in collaboration with Youth for Asia. UNODC also addressed a virtual symposium on the Rohingya refugee crisis, organised by the Dhaka University Law and Politics Review on 21 June. 
(Supported by
GLO.ACT Bangladesh)
Regional: UNODC convenes cross-regional meeting on maximizing civil society and private sector cooperation to counter violent extremism
On 8-10 June, UNODC organized a cross-regional meeting on maximizing civil society and private sector cooperation to build youth resilience and participation in national frameworks for prevention of violent extremism. The workshop brought together key actors related to the criminal justice system, with a focus on preventing youth and women´s involvement in violent extremism and terrorism and development of national policies, cooperative mechanisms and frameworks. UNODC ROSA enabled the participation of experts from Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka at the meeting. The discussions emphasized the need for a platform for professional networking and peer-to-peer learning of comparative best practices in prevention of violent extremism.  

(Supported by Government of Japan)
International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (26 June)
India: Marking the World Drug Day with UNODC, young people pledge to share facts on drugs
Marking the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on 26 June, UNODC Regional Representative for South Asia Mr. Sergey Kapinos and Deputy Representative Dr. Suruchi Pant held an insightful interactive dialogue with secondary school students of the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya Rangareddy  in the Telangana state of India. The dialogue focused on addressing drug use using a health and human rights-based approach, with an emphasis on the need for youth to share facts on drugs. Students made captivating posters marking the occasion and took a pledge to counter misinformation to promote peace and the SDGs. 
UNODC Global Strategy (2021-2025)
UNODC’s mission is to contribute to global peace and security, human rights and development by making the world safer from drugs, crime, corruption and terrorism. Our new Global Strategy (2021-2025) will equip UNODC to deliver effectively, efficiently and with accountability, elevating our support to Member States to build just, inclusive and resilient societies that leave no one behind.  Our interventions will pay special attention to human rights, protection of children, gender equality, empowerment of women and youth.
Join the UNODC Network in South Asia
Our Partners
Our activities in South Asia are possible
due to the generous support of:

  • British High Commission, Sri Lanka
  • European Union
  • Germany
  • India
  • Japan
  • Sweden
  • Qatar
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
Government Partners:
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
Call for Partnerships:
Impacting Lives with Innovation
Building Back Better from COVID-19: Leaving No One Behind
In response to COVID-19, and its impact on vulnerable groups and emerging risks to security and peace, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia has developed a wide range of projects and initiatives on the following thematic areas:

-- Addressing Gender-based Violence
-- Strengthening Law Enforcement Responses
-- Countering Corruption
-- Youth Engagement through Education
-- Promoting Family Skills
-- Addressing the Needs of Drug Users, those with HIV/AIDS and Hep-C and those in prison settings
-- Strengthening Responses to COVID-19 in Prisons
-- Countering Cybercrime and Promoting Online Safety
-- Responding to the Needs of Human Trafficking Survivors, Refugees, Migrants and the Homeless 

Active support from partners is requested to enable the implementation of these programs and to scale-up efforts to promote security, justice and health among vulnerable groups in South Asia. Our partnerships aim at building national and regional alliances on our mandates, which are closely linked to national, regional and global priorities as well as the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. Let's join hands to enable and aid large-scale and impactful initiatives that help people lead safer and healthier lives .  Your support can make all the difference!

To know more, please contact:

Mr. Samarth Pathak
Communications Officer
UNODC Regional Office for South Asia
Cellphone: +91-9811347927
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) assists Member States in their efforts to combat illicit drugs and international crime. Over the past two decades, the UNODC Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) has been working with governments and civil society in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, providing specialized assistance to address challenges pertaining to drugs, organised crime, security, justice and health. The commitment to Sustainable Development Goals, human rights and the rule of law is at the core of our mandate.
Contact Us

C-97 (Ground Floor), Defence Colony, New Delhi-110024, India
Email: samarth.pathak@un.org

Website: www.unodc.org/southasia/
Facebook: @unodc.rosa
Twitter: @unodc_rosa

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