Special Newsletter from UNODC South  Asia 

July 2022

Regional Snapshots
Bangladesh: UNODC convenes national consultation to mark the World Day against Trafficking in Persons
While technology is frequently misused to facilitate trafficking, control victims, advertise services and hide criminal proceeds, its positive use can help practitioners detect, rescue and support victims and combat trafficking. Again, crisis situations can also intensify this problem. For people on the move, online resources can become a trap, especially when it comes to phony travel arrangements and fake job offers targeting vulnerable groups. Marking the World Day against Trafficking in Persons on 30 July, UNODC, under the aegis of the GLO.ACT-Bangladesh, organized a national consultation on ‘Combatting Human Trafficking in the Context of Technology Use and its Abuse’ in partnership with Ministry of Home Affairs and the Bangladesh UN Network on Migration.  The national dialogue highlighted this year’s theme of the World Day against Trafficking in Persons--“Use and Abuse of Technology”—with a focus on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking. The national consultation witnessed high level participation from over 120 national and international stakeholders, including the Ministry of Home Affairs, Secretaries from different Ministries of Bangladesh, foreign diplomatic missions, criminal justice actors, UN agencies and civil society. 
Bhutan: UNODC strengthens public awareness to counter Trafficking in Persons
Marking the World Day against Trafficking in Persons, UNODC participated in a televised panel discussion on human trafficking, which was aired on the national broadcaster Bhu-tan Broadcasting Service. Panelists included the UNODC Programme Coordinator in Bhu-tan and officials from the Government of Bhutan. Knowledge support was also provided to a mock conference on the issue, conducted by students from a school in Thimphu. The recorded video was aired on national television during prime time on 30 July. In July, a series of seven awareness programmes on countering Trafficking in Persons were conducted for over 2,600 students and educators from high schools in Punakha and Wangdue dzongkhags, in collaboration with the Department of Law and Order, Govern-ment of Bhutan. Aimed at engaging youth, the discussions focused on demystifying issues pertaining to human trafficking with examples and good practices in protecting and as-sisting victims. 
  (Supported by the
US Department of State)
India: UNODC engages prison officials on Mandela Rules, health and human rights 
Marking the occasion this year, UNODC convened a virtual dialogue on “Revisiting the Mandela Rules: Dignity Unlocked” in collaboration with the Institute of Correctional Administration (Chandigarh). Attended by over 70 Indian prison officials and experts, the dialogue focused on prison management, health and human rights.  Discussing the Mandela Rules, the participants emphasised the need to protect human rights and dignity of prisoners, leaving no one behind. “We must work towards ensuring that dignity of inmates and prison staff is protected. Mainstreaming and reintegrating prisoners in society is key,” participants said. Nelson Mandela was a champion of human rights and fought for those who couldn’t speak for themselves. The realization of the Nelson Mandela Rules depends on five basic principles: Humane Treatment, non-discrimination, normalization, safety and security, and tailored rehabilitation.
Sri Lanka: UNODC strengthens multi-stakeholder approaches to counter organized crime threats
Under the aegis of the ongoing Transnational Crime (TOC) preliminary study in Sri Lanka-- supported by the Joint UN Program Fund--a discussion forum was organised in Kandy for over 50 senior level officials from the Department of Prisons. The discussions focused on identifying key sources of information related to reported crimes and to provide a platform for participants to discuss and share their insights on criminal activities. The aim was to strengthen understanding and identifying key sources of information related to prosecutions, sentencing, seizures and reported crimes on trafficking of drugs, small arms and wildlife.
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(Supported by
Joint UN Program Fund)
Bangladesh: UNODC convenes regional consultation on countering Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Cox’s Bazar
Under the framework of GLO.ACT-Bangladesh, UNODC organized a regional consultation on countering Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. One of the objectives of the GLO.ACT-Bangladesh project is to enhance the capacity of criminal justice practitioners and relevant officials. Since the Rohingya influx in 2017, the trafficking situation in the Cox’s Bazar district has exacerbated. Therefore, Cox’s Bazar needs a special attention on addressing human trafficking and migrant smuggling. The day long consultation included representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs, local government officials, office of the Refugee, Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, judiciary, prosecutors, police, Bangladesh Border Guard, Ansar-VDP and civil society operating in Cox’s Bazar.

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(Supported by the
European Union)
Bangladesh: UNODC hosts training on non-custodial measures for judges and public prosecutors
UNODC experts conducted an in-person training on non-custodial measures for judges, public prosecutors and high officials from the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs. Attended by over 24 participants, the training aimed to support the Government of Bangladesh in addressing overcrowding issues in prisons. Participants called for joint efforts to translate ‘theory into action’ on prison reform, in line with Goal 16 of Agenda 2030. To assist Member States in fostering criminal justice reform, UNODC focuses on promoting the practical application of the Nelson Mandela Rules, the UN Standard Minimum Rules for Non-Custodial Measures, as well as the implementation of the relevant targets of Agenda 2030.
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(Supported by
US Bureau of International Narcotics and
Law Enforcement Affairs)
Bangladesh: UNODC conducts specialized training on combatting Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants for law enforcement agencies in Cox’s Bazar 
Under the framework of GLO.ACT-Bangladesh, UNODC--in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh--organized a capacity building workshop with law enforcement agencies on countering Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and smuggling of migrants (SOM). The discussions focused on national and international legislation to manage TIP investigations in Bangladesh more effectively. The workshop familiarized participants with essential international legal instruments, frameworks, and investigation techniques related to human trafficking. It also served as a knowledge-sharing platform where investigating officers had vibrant and engaging discussions on handling TIP investigations.

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(Supported by the
European Union)
Maldives: UNODC provides mentorship to investigators from the National Integrity Commission

A mentoring session was organised for investigators of the Maldives National Integrity Commission (NIC) on international standards—including Nelson Mandela Rules and the Bangkok Rules--and best practices relevant in the management of places of detention. As an independent agency, the NIC is mandated to investigate allegations of unlawful acts by law enforcement agencies, including correctional services. The session was organized as part of UNODC technical assistance within specific focus areas identified by NIC. The session laid out practical aspects of investigators' role regarding NIC’s mandate to carry out oversight functions in correctional institutions as part of law enforcement entities. 
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(Supported by the
US Government)
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:

  • European Union
  • Germany
  • India
  • Japan
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Joint UN Program Fund
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
UNODC Regional Office for South Asia has developed a wide range of projects and initiatives on the following thematic areas:

-Building law enforcement capacities against drugs and organised crime
-Addressing drug use and HIV/AIDS 

-Enhancing multi-stakeholder responses to counter Trafficking in Persons 
-Engaging young people and educators on crime prevention, integrity, Global Goals and peace with educational interventions
-Promoting family skills to reduce risky behaviours among young people

-Countering corruption 
-Addressing Gender-based Violence
-Strengthening responses to prevent and counter wildlife crime
-Countering cybercrime and promoting online safety

We seek active support 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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