Pillar IV: Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

The main objective of this pillar is to strengthen the rule of law through the prevention of crime and the promotion of effective, fair, humane and accountable criminal justice systems in line with the United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice and other relevant international instruments. Several Member States of the region are currently undergoing major justice reform processes, some of which have already benefited from UNODC's expertise. These ongoing processes provide a solid platform for replication and networking both intra- and inter-regionally.

This regional Criminal Justice Programme derives its objective from UNODC's Thematic Programme on crime prevention and criminal justice reform for 2012-2015, setting out a consistent and comprehensive approach based on the Strategic Framework and the relevant UN Conventions and standards and norms related to crime prevention and criminal justice reform.

Expected Outcomes Pillar IV: Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice




Member States conduct effective, efficient and sustainable reforms of justice and law enforcement institutions, thereby increasing access to justice


Member States have an improved quality, efficiency and fairness of the criminal justice process, including catering to the needs of vulnerable groups


Member States put in place comprehensive crime prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration programmes

Under this pillar, UNODC will continue to provide technical assistance and advisory services to Member States to establish and/or strengthen criminal justice systems in accordance with international human rights standards and norms. A key operational principle will be to support Member States in addressing crime prevention and criminal justice reform from a broad perspective including oversight, accountability and integrity. This approach recognizes the links between different institutions and actors in the criminal justice system, from those involved in prevention, investigation, prosecution, adjudication, prisons, and reintegration. It will include particular attention to vulnerable groups through a focus on access to justice and legal empowerment initiatives, prison reform and activities promoting crime prevention (specifically in regards to women and children). It will also work to enhance international cooperation and mutual legal assistance to improve intra- and inter-regional capacity.

Work under this pillar will continue to build upon the various initiatives and best practices developed in fragile and development contexts. In particular, UNODC will expand the current police reform programme in Kenya, and engage in similar initiatives in Ethiopia and Tanzania. It will work to strengthen the professionalism of the staff of justice institutions and their capacities to administer justice in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. In this respect, UNODC will implement a series of integrated initiatives aimed at improving the quality and efficiency of the criminal justice process and support the establishment of alternatives to imprisonment programmes in support of prison de-congestion, offenders' rehabilitation, and prevention of recidivism. Further, UNODC will support the development and/or implementation of national crime prevention policies and strategies.