Special Newsletter from UNODC South  Asia 

April 2024

Regional Snapshots
UNODC's RiseUp4Peace initiative is empowering youth and educators across India and other countries to  actively learn about--and advocate for--peace, justice, and inclusivity with education, using interactive dialogues, cross-learning and mentorship. This month, five interactive capacity-building dialogues brought together over 1,095 educators and young people to learn about SDG 16 and related themes. Knowledge support was also provided to 316 educators and 12 educational institutions directly, resulting in the co-creation of a range of school-led initiatives engaging and empowering over 14,000 young people—including a students’ ‘Run4Peace’ campaign driven by the Little Kingdom School (Madhya Pradesh), virtual student assemblies on SDG16 conducted at the Funlish language school (West Bengal), setting up of a 'peace tree' with messages on SDG 16 at the Sri Seshaas International Public School Salem (Tamil Nadu), interactive dialogues held at the Schiller Institute (Uttar Pradesh) and other institutions, pledge drives, posters and artwork activities, among others.

Join the initiative heret.ly/lh9T7
India: At the National Transgender Summit, UNODC joins partners in catalyzing action for inclusive healthcare and policies
A National Transgender Summit  convened by India HIV/AIDS Alliance, UNODC and other partners addressed systemic challenges faced by transgender communities and called for inclusive policies, specialized healthcare, and safety measures, emphasising the need for action to combat stigma and discrimination. Over 124 individuals from diverse backgrounds called for collective commitment to ad-dress pressing challenges such as equitable access to livelihood opportunities, healthcare accessibility, substance use, HIV/AIDS and healthcare in prisons and gender-based violence, among others. Participants highlighted the urgent need to address stigma, provide specialized healthcare, and ensure safety for transgender individuals in closed settings such as prisons.
Nepal: UNODC Facilitates Establishment of Regional Legal Aid Network in South Asia
In Nepal, a  technical meeting convened key stakeholders-governments, civil society and legal aid providers from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka-to establish a landmark regional criminal justice legal aid network in South Asia. The meeting enabled experts to share national updates of normative frameworks, ongoing multi-partnership projects and experiences, and good practices, as well as regional cooperation needs. Participants discussed a range of thematic areas, including: legislative reforms, fostering inclusive services for persons in vulnerable situations, promoting diversity and representation among legal aid service providers, monitoring of quality of services, improving data collection and reporting, and leveraging technology for improved access to justice.
Bangladesh: UNODC facilitates a workshop to enhance intelligence-led response to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants
Capacities of 27 officials of a security force in Bangladesh were enhanced on proactively responding to trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants with a specialised workshop. Participants were sensitised on the roles of different stakeholders working to counter TIP and SOM, which will help them develop joint responses and enhanced coordination. Building on the insightful suggestions of the participants, UNODC will tailor institution-specific training plans to effectively meet the needs of security personnel in Bangladesh. 
India: INCB Annual Report 2023 highlights linkages between drug trade, terrorism and the Internet
Government and law enforcement experts discussed key findings of the INCB Annual Report and Precursors Report 2023, emphasizing that drug trafficking is increasingly being used to finance terrorism and support armed groups in South Asia and globally. The INCB Annual Report 2023 has provided a comprehensive overview of the drug trade landscape in South Asia, shedding light on the evolving challenges posed by drug trafficking, terrorism, and the Internet. A concerning trend identified in the report is the surge in online drug trafficking. Cyber-enabled drug markets, operating on the dark web and crypto-markets, are making illicit drugs more accessible than ever before. 
Bangladesh: Government of Bangladesh and UNODC forge strategic path forward on developing the ‘Dhaka Roadmap’ Cooperation Framework 
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh and UNODC convened a validation meeting with 11 national entities to develop 'The Dhaka Roadmap'– a first-of-its kind framework of partnership to guide UNODC initiatives in Bangladesh within the purview of the new Regional Programme for South Asia 2024–2028. The intensive discussions helped gather focused recommendations and inputs on key are-as of cooperation pertaining to the drug problem, organized crime and criminal justice. These were also aimed at further strengthening the draft cooperation framework including aligning UNODC initiatives on security, the rule of law and health, with broader policy frameworks at the national and international levels. 
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
  • UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund
Government Partners:
  • Bangladesh
  • Bhutan
  • India
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Sri Lanka
Call for Partnerships:
Impacting Lives with Innovation
Advancing Crime Prevention, Justice and Health in South Asia 
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