UNODC supports law enforcement agencies of the Central Asian States to counter the COVID-19

While the Governments of Central Asian countries are taking serious measures to isolate the COVID-19 and minimize its spread among population, the law enforcement officers in each country are in the front-line and have been taking all necessary measures to ensure the order and security.

UNODC ROCA is cognizant that one of the most important factors in the current situation is to ensure the personal safety of law enforcement officials to prevent infection while performing their duties. Therefore, regional Border Cooperation Component of UNODC Programme for Central Asia actively supports the frontline law enforcement officers at border crossing points in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On 7 May 2020, UNODC ROCA Regional Border Cooperation Component provided to the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan the personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks, protective glasses, suit sets, gloves and shoe covers, worth USD 6,000. “The PPE items, provided by UNODC will be distributed among BCPs and be used by frontline customs officers during the performance of their duties to ensure the economic security of the country, as well as to prevent, detect and suppress violations of customs legislation, including smuggling”, said Mr. Ulugbek Tuychiev, the Head of the Department for Combatting Smuggling and Customs Legislation Violations.

UNODC ROCA also developed a set of guidelines for the law enforcement agencies to support both national and UN response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with recommendations on personal safety, the guidelines provide information on how to work and perform during the pandemics. The guidelines, available in Russian, English and some local languages, were disseminated among law enforcement agencies in the region.

Furthermore, the UNODC Border Cooperation Component procured medical protection means, including respirators, thermometers, hand sanitizer, quartz lamps to assist to the Border service of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Similarly, the PPE items were provided to the officers of the Customs Service, Border Guards and Drug Control Agency of Tajikistan. On 11 May, the Border Cooperation Component provided 260 reusable protective raincoats to the State Border Service of Kyrgyzstan and handed over the eight desktops, two notebooks and two printers to the same agency.  

The UNODC technical assistance to national law enforcement agencies of the Central Asian States is a part of “Enhancing capacity of border crossing points and improving regional cross border cooperation by promoting Border Liaison Offices‘ concept and development of information and communication networks for border agencies” component of the Sub-programme 1 “Countering transnational organized crime, illicit drug trafficking and preventing terrorism” of the UNODC Programme for Central Asia.