13 June 2016 - This past week, a biennial crime statistics conference was held in Mérida, Mexico, with a major focus placed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the data requirements for reporting on some of the key crime-related indicators.
Organized jointly by UNODC and INEGI, the Mexican statistics body, the 3rd International Conference on Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics brought together around 400 participants from 37 countries, including representatives of national statistical offices, national criminal justice institutions, academia, and international organizations.
95 expert speakers in total were present at the three-day meeting, and a number of diverse issues were covered. Particular emphasis was placed on SDG 16 - promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies - and the best ways that the demand for new and improved data can be met by countries. Indicators on drug trafficking, illegal arms trafficking, and the estimation of illicit markets were also looked at.
Several sessions discussed how crime victimization surveys produce relevant indicators on the SDG targets relating to areas of physical violence, sexual violence, corruption and fear of crime. Other sessions dealt with the topic of the measurement of intentional homicides and other violent deaths and how divergent definitions and standards can be harmonized for SDG monitoring.
With the 2015 adoption of the International Classification of Crime by both the UN Statistical Commission and the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, a special session was devoted to sharing experiences on its implementation at the national level. The classification represents a major milestone in improving crime statistics worldwide and provides a solid basis for defining relevant indicators across different jurisdictions.
Other sessions also dealt with indicators on drug trafficking, illegal arms trafficking, measuring illicit drug markets and presenting the newly-released UNODC World Wildlife Crime Report.
This year's conference came out of a joint effort by UNODC and INEGI, supported by the Center of Excellence in Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice based in Mexico City.