Special Newsletter from UNODC South  Asia 

June 2023

World Drug Day
South Asia: UNODC's Impactful Observance of World Drug Day focuses on 'Putting People First'
Observing the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in South Asia, UNODC emphasized the paramount importance of putting people first and eradicating the deep-rooted stigma associated with drug use, with a series of initiatives involving key stakeholders. These included a special e-feature, youth and community engagement, dissemination of World Drug Report findings, training programs for law enforcement personnel, online and in-person dialogues with stakeholders, and engagement with academic institutions to enhance knowledge and capacities in addressing the drug problem.
Regional Snapshots
South Asia: UNODC workshop strengthens knowledge sharing and cooperation on safeguarding sport from corruption
With support of the International Cricket Council (ICC), International Olympic Committee (IOC), FIFA, and generously funded by the European Union (EU), UNODC hosted a workshop in Vienna on ‘Safeguarding Sports from Corruption in South Asia,” focused on raising awareness about corruption risks in sport, facilitating the exchange of good practices, and strengthening cooperation.   The workshop highlighted that manifestations of corruption in the context of sport include fraud, money-laundering, abuse of authority, competition manipulation (also commonly known as match-fixing) and illegal betting, among others. 
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(Supported by the
European Union)
India: UNODC strengthens law enforcement responses to address the drug problem with capacity building and knowledge sharing 
UNODC's capacity building initiatives play a crucial role in equipping these officials with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to effectively counter drug trafficking. Through these initiatives, law enforcement officials are empowered to detect, investigate, and dismantle drug trafficking networks, bolstering their ability to identify and disrupt the illicit drug trade. Over the past few years, UNODC has worked closely with the Government of India, offering research, technical support, and capacity building initiatives to synergize ongoing efforts in combatting drug trafficking. Continuing these efforts, two five-day capacity building workshops were convened in June—the first in Pune in collaboration with the Centre for Police Research (Pune) and the other in Lucknow in collaboration with the Jagjivan Ram RPF Academy (Lucknow). 
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(Supported by the
Government of India)
India: UNODC training equips policymakers and healthcare administrators with evidence-based strategies for Opioid Agonist Therapy      
High-quality Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) involves the prescription of opioid agonist medications at appropriate doses for long or maintenance periods, with access to evidence-based psychosocial interventions. OAT is considered one of the most effective treatment for opioid dependence and improves other health and social outcomes. Focusing on this, a two-day training on establishing and delivering evidence-based, high-quality OAT services was delivered to over 35 Indian health policymakers and officials in Kolkata. The training equipped participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to combat drug addiction effectively using the operational tool, "Establishing and delivery of evidence-based, good quality, effective Opioid Agonist Therapy services,” developed by UNODC and WHO.   
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(Supported by the
UBRAF Mechanism)
Nepal: High-Level consultation enhances judicial capacity to tackle gender-based violence
Recognizing the pivotal roles of judges, lawyers and public prosecutors in protecting human rights, UNODC, in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General, Government of Nepal, a high-level consultation program was organized to address the investigation, prosecution, and adjudication of Gender-Based Violence. The consultation was aimed at empowering legal professionals with the necessary tools and knowledge. The need for improved coordination among different agencies involved in the prosecution of rape cases, such as the police, forensic labs, and victim support services, was emphasised.
Bangladesh: UNODC promotes community policing approaches to counter terrorism and violent extremism        
UNODC has partnered with the Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU) of the Bangladesh Police to convene a series of consultations to promote community-based policing strategies—with focus on improved research, training, national coordination, regional networking, and women-led policing. The project, funded by the Government of Canada, seeks to take a multidimensional approach to preventing radicalization, and provide support for the rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals involved in violent activities. Taking this initiative forward, a regional consultation workshop was hosted in Dhaka, to identify existing gaps, challenges, and future interventions in strengthening community and beat policing mechanisms.

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(Supported by the
Global Affairs Canada)
India: UNODC and The Lawrence School Sanawar empower young minds at the International Round Square Conference to promote SDGs, peace and the rule of law 
Schools are important and critical partners to promote SDGs, peace and the rule of law among young minds. By integrating concepts such as human rights, justice, and equality into teaching methodologies, schools can empower students to become agents of positive change with a sense of responsibility, empathy, and respect for others—essential 21st century life skills. In this context, UNODC provided knowledge support to the International Round Square Conference organised by India’s The Lawrence School Sanawar (Himachal Pradesh), one of India’s oldest schools. 
Bangladesh: National consultation workshop identifies opportunities to strengthen data collection on Trafficking in Persons       
Data collection is a crucial element in responding effectively to trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants. Collecting accurate and comprehensive data enables governments, international organizations, and civil society to understand the scope and nature of these criminal activities, identify trends, and develop evidence-based policies and interventions. Recognising the importance of such efforts, UNODC and the Government of Bangladesh jointly produced the First National Study on Trafficking in Persons in 2022. This ground-breaking study, conducted under the Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT-Bangladesh) Project, also shed light on opportunities for improving data collection and analysis on TIP in the country. 
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(Supported by the
European Union)
Maldives: First integrated training package focused on ensuring legal finish of maritime crimes completed in Maldives     
Multiple criminal justice actors in Maldives participated in an integrated training package designed by UNODC’s Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP), including maritime law enforcement authorities (coast guard, police, customs), prosecutors and the judiciary. The integrated training package is a phased comprehensive initiative that combines a maritime interdiction course and a mock crime scene exercise with evidence handling training, evidence package preparation and prosecution mentoring, culminating in a simulated trial, all with the purpose of strengthening the capabilities of all criminal justice actors involved to ensure legal finish of maritime crimes. Public Prosecutor Azha Mohamed Nasir, an active participant of the simulated trial, shares her story.
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(Supported by the
US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs)
Join the UNODC Network in South Asia
Our Partners
Our activities in South Asia are possible
due to the generous support of:

  • Canada
  • European Union
  • Germany
  • India
  • Japan
  • Joint UN Program Fund
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • UN Secretary General's Peace Building 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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