Special Newsletter from UNODC South  Asia 

May 2022

Regional Snapshots
Bhutan: UNODC enhances multi-stakeholder cooperation and public awareness to counter Trafficking in Persons 
In May, a series of three two-day trainings on countering Trafficking in Persons in Bhutan was organised, in collaboration with the Department of Law and Order, Government of Bhutan. The training focused on the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to protect and assist victims and strengthen cooperation and coordination. Over 80 officials from local government, civil society, healthcare, and judiciary from Gelephu, Sarpang, and Tsirang Dzongkhags participated in the discussions. Special awareness programs on countering Trafficking in Persons were also conducted for over 900 students and educators from various high schools in these areas, raising awareness of Trafficking in Persons and exploring ways to address the problem. The discussions focused on raising awareness on the issue with examples and good practices in protecting and assisting victims
(Supported by
US Department of State)
India: UNODC conducts needs assessment to strengthen HIV/AIDS treatment and care in closed settings
UNODC is supporting the Gujarat State AIDS Control Society (GSACS), Gujarat prisons, and women's shelter homes to strengthen HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care in prisons and other closed settings and on harm reduction services by supporting inter-state learning. One of the objectives of this intervention is to identify critical gaps in harm reduction programs, especially for injecting drug users and identify critical areas for providing technical support to key stakeholders in Gujarat. Under this project, UNODC conducted a needs assessment in the Sabarmati Prison and women's shelter homes. The evaluation aimed at gathering information on the current prison health system and services, focusing on the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care. Discussions were held with relevant government prisons administration officials and inmates to understand the gaps and challenges in implementing the HIV and drug interventions in closed settings and prisons.  

  (Supported by
Bangladesh: UNODC trains prison health officials on Nelson Mandela Rules 
To assist the 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, and the implementation of the relevant targets of Agenda 2030. In this context, a range of targeted interventions has been spearheaded to promote alternatives to imprisonment and build the capacities of governments for effective prison management and security. In this context, in May 2022, UNODC, in partnership with the Prisons Directorate of Bangladesh, convened a series of trainings for over 50 prison health officials focused on enhancing knowledge and operational capacity vis-à-vis prison management, in line with national and international standards. The Bangla version of UNODC's e-learning course on the UN Standard Minimum Rules for treatment of prisoners was made available online and presented to the participants. The initiative, which is aimed at supporting the implementation of Bangladesh's commitment to turn "prisons" into "correction centers" to rehabilitate prisoners.
(Supported by
US Bureau of International Narcotics and
Law Enforcement Affairs)
Bangladesh: UNODC convenes training on open-source investigation of online wildlife trade
Wildlife crime threatens species, ecosystems, livelihoods, security and public health. Countering this transnational organised crime requires a coordinated multi-stakeholder response. On 24-26 May, UNODC organised a training on open-source investigation of online wildlife trade for over 30 officials from Bangladesh Forest Department, customs, law enforcement agencies and judges and prosecutors. Opened by the Bangladesh Chief Conservator of Forests, the training focused on a wide range of aspects including elements of a sound investigation, digital security and online safety, installation and testing of various internet browsers and setting up of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) for investigations, and retrieving and archiving information with advanced internet searches across different search engines, among others.  Held as part of the Global Programme on Crimes that Affect the Environment, the training involved intensive group work, case studies and practical exercises. 
(Supported by
US Bureau of International Narcotics and
Law Enforcement Affairs)
Bangladesh: UNODC strengthens multi-stakeholder responses to counter Trafficking in persons
Under the aegis of the GLO.ACT project, UNODC built capacities of law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh, with a consultation on enhancing responses against trafficking in persons. The themes in focus were mutual legal assistance with relevant transit and destination countries and informal police-to-police cooperation and investigation techniques. A meeting with key stakeholders from the Government of Bangladesh was also convened to deliberate on the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for investigating trafficking cases. The meeting was chaired by the Ministry of Home Affairs and included representatives from the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Police Headquarters, Police Bureau of Investigation, Special Branch, and Criminal Investigation Department. The meeting aimed to form a technical working group for developing the SOP on investigating the trafficking of person cases and finalizing the working procedures. The SOP intends to codify the existing investigation practices and align them with good international practices.  

  (Supported by
European Union)
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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