Special Newsletter from UNODC South  Asia 

September 2021

Building Back from COVID-19:
Strengthening Security, Peace, Justice and Health
India: UNODC enhances law enforcement capacities on darknet and open-source cyber interdictions to counter drug trafficking
The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an uptick in misuse of cyberspace. Open-source, darknet and social media platforms are being used by criminal syndicates for illicit drug trafficking. Responding to this, UNODC convened a three-day in-person workshop in New Delhi, focusing on cyber interdiction for preventing drug trafficking using the darknet and social media platforms.  The three-day interactive training was organised in continuum of the ongoing capacity building initiatives of law enforcement agencies in India.  Over 23 senior operational officers of India’s apex national agency, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), participated in the workshop, following COVID-19 protocols. Through the intensive hands-on training, law enforcement officials were sensitised on evidence collection through social media, darknet interdictions, tracking of transactions made using cryptocurrencies and ways to strengthen operations cooperation. UNODC South Asia's Deputy Representative and the Director General of NCB addressed the dialogue.
(Supported by the Government of India)
Bangladesh: UNODC provides essential COVID-19 health supplies and equipment to Prisons Directorate  
On 22 September, UNODC handed over Personal Protective Equipment and other essential COVID-19 health supplies to the Prisons Directorate, Government of Bangladesh, in an effort to support pandemic management. The supplies aim at preventing, protecting and mitigating the risks of disease outbreak among prisoners and staff at the Dhaka Central Jail and the Keraniganj and Narayanganj District Jails. The supplies were presented to the Inspector General of Prisons and the Additional Inspector General of Prisons, Government of Bangladesh. UNODC also emphasized the importance of promoting prison reforms, health and non-custodial measures in prisons. 
(Supported by US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs) 
Bangladesh: Advisory Group examines framework of UNODC’s National Study on Trafficking in Persons
Under the framework of the GLO.ACT-Bangladesh project, the third meeting of the Advisory Group for the ‘Bangladesh National Study on Trafficking in Persons' was held on 09 September, at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), Government of Bangladesh. The meeting was chaired by the Additional Secretary (Politics and ICT) and attended by representatives from key ministries and governmental departments, law enforcement, IOM and ILO. In the meeting, UNODC shared the preliminary findings from the study, the draft progress report and the legal framework with the participants and sought inputs on key terms used in the study and the data collection processes. 
(Supported by the European Union and
in partnership with IOM

UNODC, under the South Asia component of GLO.SMART Programme, presented two key publications – the Global Report and Regional Report on Synthetic Drugs—translated in the national language (Hindi) to the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh in an online ceremony on 01 September. Welcoming the initiative, the Chief Minister stated that these publications would be disseminated to more than 10,000 officers of the law enforcement agencies, elected representatives and members of the civil society. The Chief Minister also reiterated the government’s commitment to strengthen health, safety and security in the State.
(Under the aegis of the UNODC GLO.SMART Programme)
Bangladesh: UNODC enhances multi-stakeholder responses to counter drugs and crime in Cox’s Bazar
On 23 September, UNODC, in collaboration with UNHCR and the Department of Narcotics Control (DNC), Government of Bangladesh, organized a district-level consultation to build capacities and resilience to counter the threats of drugs and crime in Cox’s Bazar. The consultation was attended by key government officials, public representatives, development partners and civil society. The consultation aimed at engaging relevant stakeholders and seek inputs to develop and strengthen comprehensive policy responses to the drugs and crime situation in Cox’s Bazar. 

(Supported by UNHCR)
India: UNODC provides technical inputs on prison reform at workshop on 'Criminalisation in Prisons'
On 23 September, UNODC South Asia’s Criminal Justice Expert provided technical inputs at a dialogue organized by the Central Academy of Prison Training, Bhopal (India) on the criminalisation in prisons. The emphasis was on the importance of standardized classification tool for prisoners, in line with the international standards and the UNODC Handbook on Classification of Prisoners. Participants included key government stakeholders from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Police Research and Development, prison officials and other experts.  
Sri Lanka: UNODC trains government officials to counter wildlife crime and strengthen prosecutions
Wildlife crime threatens species, ecosystems, livelihoods, security and public health. Countering this transnational organised crime requires a coordinated multi-stakeholder response. On 29-30 September, UNODC organised a National Consultation with key government agencies and lawyers in Sri Lanka on preventing and combatting wildlife crime, with a focus on legislative and prosecution aspects. The consultation was attended by over 25 officials from Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Wildlife Conservation, Customs, Police and Attorney General’s Office.. The discussions led to identification of key bottlenecks in recent cases of wildlife crime and helped in developing operational cooperation between the relevant agencies. The consultation involved intensive group work, case studies and concluded with the officials highlighting the key challenges in the country and prioritised needs going forward, including developing tools and training. 

(Supported by US Bureau of International Narcotics
and Law Enforcement)
Global: UNODC launches new e-learning courses on countering terrorism
On 30 September, UNODC officially launched the virtual e-learning courses on “Gender Dimensions of Criminal Justice Responses” and “Complex Terrorist Cases for South and South-East Asia: Investigation, prosecution, adjudication, rehabilitation and reintegration.” This forms the basis for the delivery of numerous online legislative and technical assistance activities. 
Bangladesh: UNODC enhances
youth engagement on preventing human trafficking 

On 17 September, UNODC organized a virtual workshop to engage 151 law students from the Eastern University, Bangladesh on modules on trafficking in persons developed under the Education for Justice Initiative. The Attorney General of Bangladesh, UNODC’s South Asia Representative, and senior education-related stakeholders addressed the event. 
(Supported by the
European Union)

In support of the Education for Justice Initiative, UNODC’s ‘Lockdown Learners’ continues to gain traction and acclaim in India, engaging with youth and educators on peace, SDGs and crime prevention. In September, activity-based interactive dialogues were held with over 700 students and educators from diverse socio-economic backgrounds in 7 states/Union Territories, using virtual platforms, WhatsApp and audio notes. The themes in focus included the SDGs, discrimination, tolerance, misinformation and cybercrime. Knowledge support and mentorship were also provided by UNODC South Asia's Communications Officer to online youth collectives in developing community outreach and advocacy tools on vaccines, COVID-19 precautions and awareness on essential helplines and information. Bridging gender and socio-economic divides, the Lockdown Learners series has applied innovative approaches such as activity-based learning, capacity building of educators, using audio recordings  and creating virtual and offline youth-driven action networks in support of SDGs.  

(Under the aegis of UNODC's Education for Justice Initiative)

Youth action on peace and social change is key to achieving Agenda 2030. In support of UNODC’s Lockdown Learners series and the Education for Justice Initiative, Ms. Abza Dorbala--a high school student of the Kamla Nehru Public School Phagwara (Punjab, India) composed and produced a unique Rap anthem on the Global Goals. A unique experiment, the anthem aims at promoting awareness on the Global Goals, and strengthen youth action for social change.
Bhutan: UNODC strengthens multi-stakeholder engagement and public awareness to counter Trafficking in Persons
UNODC convened a series of 2 two-day trainings on countering Trafficking in Persons in Bhutan, in collaboration with the Department of Law and Order, Government of Bhutan. The trainings focused on the application of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to protect and assist victims and strengthen cooperation and coordination. Over 50 officials from law enforcement, local government, civil society and judiciary from the Dagana Dzongkhag and Paro Dzongkhag participated in the training programmes. Special awareness programs on countering Trafficking in Persons were also conducted for over 1900 students and educators from various high schools and colleges in Dagana and Paro. 

(Supported by US Department of State)
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/
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Twitter: @unodc_rosa

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