Stories from UNODC Southern Africa

UNODC hands over Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centre to Zambia Prisons Service

Lusaka, 2 July 2014 - UNODC officially handed over the first Prison Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) Centre located at the Kabwe Maximum Prison Complex to the Zambian Prisons Service. The centre will provide quality services to close to 10,000 people. It services prisoners from the five groups of prisons at the Kabwe prison complex, prison staff and their families, as well as the surrounding rural community. [Read more]

Millions lack access to adequate justice, face illegal detention, other abuses

8 July, 2014 - Many countries still lack the necessary resources and capacity to provide legal aid for suspects, those charged with a criminal offence, prisoners, victims and witnesses. Providing adequate legal aid is key in developing a more efficient legal system. This helps make better use of limited State resources, promotes greater community involvement in the criminal justice system - including facilitating community-based sanctions and non-custodial measures - reduces the unnecessary use of detention and imprisonment, and rationalizes criminal justice policies. [Read more]

UNODC and SADC confirm commitment to make Southern Africa safer from crime and drugs

23 May - Windhoek - At a special high-level session of the Annual General Meeting of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) in Windhoek, Namibia, representatives from UNODC and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) confirmed their commitment to make the SADC Region safer from Crime and Drugs through their Joint Regional Programme for 2013-2016. [Read more]

Join UNODC at ICASA from 7-11 December in Cape Town

From 7-11 December 2013 the 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) is being hosted in Cape Town, South Africa. It is an opportunity to renew the global commitment - "Now More Than Ever: Targeting Zero" - by drawing the world's attention to the fact that the legacy is now under threat as a result of the global economic downturn. UNODC as the UNAIDS convening agency for HIV among people who use drugs, as well as in prisons and other closed settings, will be represented at various Satellite Sessions, Panel Discussions, Poster Exhibitions and the UN Booth. [Read More]

Make health your 'new high' in life: UNODC to mark World Drug Day on 26 June

On 26 June, the world will commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which serves as a reminder of the need to combat the problems to society posed by illicit drugs. UNODC has long been at the forefront of campaigns to raise awareness about the dangers of traditional drugs, such as cannabis, heroin, cocaine and amphetamine-type substances.  [Read More]

International Narcotics Control Board Annual Report Launched

On 5 March 2013 the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) launched its Annual Report as well as a Report on Precursors chemicals used in the manufacture of drugs. The Global Report highlighted the danger of new psychoactive substance, 'legal highs', new versions of which, with small changes on a  molecular level, are emerging nearly weekly in Europe.  The Report further warns of the abuse of prescription drugs. For more information and the full report click here.

UNODC highlights the cost of corruption for global development on International Anti-Corruption Day

Pretoria - Together with the Public Service Commission (PSC) of South Africa and the University of South Africa (UNISA), UNODC Southern Africa hosted a high-level panel discussion on effective means to combat corruption in commemoration of the International Anti-Corruption Day 2012.

Over 120 invited guests from public sector, private sector, civil society, law-enforcement, diplomatic corps and media attended the event held at UNISA in Pretoria on 10 December. More

Tshwane Bus carries message of hope for victims of domestic violence

Pretoria - A centre supported by UNODC to assist victims of domestic violence in South Africa's capital, Pretoria, has come up with an innovative idea to reach the community: by turning one of the regular municipal public buses into a colourful and bright mobile advertisement which urges victims of domestic violence to "Speak" and reach out to the centre for help. For the next eight months, passengers, pedestrians and drivers will be seeing this advertisement daily. More

2012 World Drug Report Launched in Pretoria

Pretoria - At the launch held in Pretoria on 28 June, UNODC Regional Representative Mr Mandiaye Niang presented the main findings and implications of the 2012 World Drug Report. The report as well as all relevant statistical data can be downloaded from our global UNODC site at

Message of the UN Secretary General on the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

Pretoria - On 26 June the International Community annually commemorates the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. In his message on the 2012 International Day UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlights the profoundly negative effects of drug abuse and illicit trafficking on development, health, economy and security. Today, the UN General Assembly will hold a thematic debate on drugs and crime as  a threat to development in New York. The webcast of the event will be streamed on Tuesday 26 June from 10 am - 1pm (first session) and from 3pm - 6pm (second session) EST (New York time) through More

New UNODC Bulletin on Organised Crime in Southern Africa highlights Rhino Poaching in a Global Context

Pretoria - World Environment Day, commemorated annually on June 5, aims to be the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action.
Meanwhile, the actions of organized crime groups are resulting in a sharp rise in the poaching of already endangered wildlife, such as rhinos in Southern Africa, as discussed in the inaugural edition of the NEW UNODC Bulletin on Organised Crime in Southern Africa. More

Civil Society Organisations trained on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in South Africa

Johannesburg - From 20-23 March 2012, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) together with the UNCAC Coalition, hosted a training workshop for civil society organisations on the Review Mechanism for the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). The 4-day training workshop took place in Johannesburg and was attended by over 50 participants and experts, representing some 30 countries across Africa and Asia. More

INCB calls for more efforts to break the vicious cycle of social exclusion and drug problems

Cape Town - On 29 February, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) together with UNODC Southern Africa launched the Annual Report of the INCB in the Auditorium of the Provincial Legislature of the Western Cape, in Cape Town, South Africa.



UN Secretary-General calls for action by all to end scourge of corruption


New York - In his message on the International Anti-Corruption Day 2011, United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, emphasises that corruption affects everybody and every country and that it is everybody's responsibility to take action against the cancer of corruption.... More

SADC and UNODC to make region safer from drugs and crime

Pretoria - From 15-16 November, 51high-level experts, designated by the governments of SADC Member States, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and SADC-Secretariat, were hosted by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa in Pretoria to discuss the final draft of the Joint SADC-UNODC Regional Programme, aimed at making the SADC region safer from drugs and crime. After their deliberations and several additions to the draft, the delegates unanimously endorsed the Regional Programme.... More

ATS: Second most used drug-type in the world

According to the latest report published by UNODC, amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) such as ecstasy and methamphetamine now rank as the world's second most widely used type of drug after cannabis. The report - the 2011 Global ATS Assessment - notes that ATS continue to pose major threat to health and security world wide and in Southern Africa. ... More

UNODC and World Bank Group launch new Anti-Corruption Legal Library with legislation from 178 States

01 September - As governments worldwide, through their prosecuting and law enforcement agencies, strengthen their efforts to combat corruption, a new tool is launched today, the UNCAC Legal Library. Co-founded by the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative, a joint programme of the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) Legal Library supports asset recovery and anti-corruption efforts and assists in implementing legislation which supports anti-corruption and asset recovery... More

Inaugural UNODC Southern Africa Newsletter released

To read the editorial and download the first volume click here

World Drug Report launched in Pretoria

Pretoria - On Monday 27 June, Mr. Mandiaye Niang, the new Regional Representative of UNODC Southern Africa, presented the 2011 World Drug Report at an official launch at the University of South Africa (UNISA) in Pretoria.

The World Drug Report is an annual publication providing comprehensive facts and figures on the global drug situation with respect to the supply and demand for illicit drugs. It has been recognised as presenting one of the most comprehensive pictures of the international drug problem and is a primary global tool in monitoring the collective fight against illicit drugs.

The event  was opened by Prof. Molamu, Registrar of UNISA, UNODC Regional Representative Mandiaye Niang presented the key findings of the 2011 World Drug Report with a focus on Africa and the South African Central Drug Authority  presented on the South African situation... More

International Day Against Substance Abuse and Illicit Trafficking commemorated in Sasolburg

Sasolburg - June 26 is the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. Every year, since it was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987, this day serves as a reminder of the goals agreed to by Member States of creating an international society free of drug abuse.

Communities affected by drug abuse and illicit trafficking were at the centre of this year's commemoration in South Africa in the township of Zamdela by Sasolburg in the Free State Province... More

SADC and UNODC to address threats posed by crime and drugs together

Gaborone - 19 April 2011

In order to address current and evolving security and development threats posed by crime and drugs in Southern Africa, a new joint initiative by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and UNODC proposes the development of a joint Regional Programme.... More

INCB Annual Report for 2010 identifies global, regional and local trends in narcotics production, trafficking and use

Pretoria - 4 March 2011

The era of globalization has brought about profound changes in almost all spheres of life, positive, like technological innovations, but also negative. This dark side of globalization, according to Prof. Makhanya, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of South Africa (UNISA), can be observed everywhere locally, for example in Sunnyside in Pretoria where drugs are readily available, regionally and globally. Developments like this and others are reported upon by the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) in its Annual Report 2010.... More

Anti-Corruption Day 2010

On 9 December 2003 the General Assembly of the United Nations established the International Anti-Corruption  Day, which is to be celebrated annually on this day, in order to raise awareness of corruption and of the role of the United Nations Convention against Corruption  in combating and preventing it. The Convention entered into force in December 2005 and now has 148 Parties. It is the only comprehensive global instrument designed to assist States in preventing and combating corruption in the public sector, the private sector and civil society.... More

Access to HIV services is a right for drug users

1 December 2010 - An estimated 16 million people across the world inject drugs, with over two-fifths, or around 3 million people, of these living with HIV. In countries where comprehensive models for the delivery of HIV services have been adopted, and where communities have been enabled to provide evidence-informed and human rights-based HIV services on a larger scale, remarkable results have been achieved in decreasing the number of newly diagnosed HIV infections. .... More

Final Expert Group Meeting to draft In-depth Training Manual on Investigating and Prosecuting Migrant Smuggling held in Pretoria

26 January 2011 - Pretoria - From 18 January to 20 January 2011 the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office Southern Africa hosted the final Expert Group Meeting (EGM) for the drafting of an In-depth Training Manual on Investigating and Prosecuting the Smuggling of Migrants in Pretoria, South Africa. Read more..______________________________________________________________________________________

UNODC celebrates the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

9 December 2010. Every year UNODC supports the South Africa's Government to celebrate the annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence by conducting a series of events to raise awareness on the issue of violence against women and children.
Since 1999, under the Austrian and Japanese Governments funded projects, "Establishment of a One Stop Center to Counteract Violence against Women and Children", and in partnership with the Department of Social Development of South Africa, Read More..______________________________________________________________________________________

UNODC train master trainers on effective police responses to Violence against Women in the Southern Africa Region

29 November 2010 - Gender-based violence is a worldwide problem, though the scourge is particularly difficult to eradicate in Africa, where an unhealthy mix of tradition, inequality and even ignorance conspires against women. In order to remember and raise awareness on the plight of the victims of this violence, the UN General Assembly designated 25 November the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. In the years since its formation, the international day has been a critical time for Governments, international organisations and NGOs to organise activities designed to raise public awareness of violence against women as well as to seek solutions to eradicate persistent discrimination against women. Read More..