Chengdu (China), 6 November - The "Third Regional Meeting on Crime and Criminal Justice Statistics: Towards modern and efficient crime statistics systems" was held in Chengdu, China, from 29 to 31 October. Co-organized by the newly established UNODC-KOSTAT Centre of Excellence on Crime and Criminal Justice statistics , the meeting brought together 50 international, regional, and national experts to review recent progress on crime and criminal justice statistics and identify ways to improve data quality and availability in the Asia and the Pacific region.
Among other things, the event focused on reporting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators, supporting responses to the UN-Crime Trends Survey (UN-CTS) and providing implementation assistance for the International Classification of Crimes for Statistical Purposes (ICCS).
"Participants acknowledged that the Asia-Pacific region is lagging behind regarding crime statistics, contrary to what happens in other fields, such as economic or poverty statistics," said Kes Choi, Coordinator of the UNODC-KOSTAT Centre of Excellence for Statistics on Crime and Criminal Justice in Asia and the Pacific (CoE). "An acceleration is needed to enable countries and citizens to monitor progress towards SDGs and the Centre of Excellence has set this as one of its priorities, through support to implementation of the ICCS and strengthened technical skills at country level" she added.
A central aim of the meeting was to initiate a dialogue between national agencies working in crime and criminal justice statistics, ensuring a collaborative approach to this issue. The event also provided an opportunity for participants to discuss regional challenges and priorities, specifically related to monitoring progress towards the SDGs. Working groups facilitated exchanges on statistics regarding physical, psychological and sexual violence; physical and sexual harassment; homicide data and; corruption and bribery surveys.
At the conclusion of the meeting 15 participating States agreed on the importance to develop national strategic plans to enhance mechanisms related to crime and criminal justice statistics. For example, a single coordinating body to oversee production of relevant data ; increase advocacy to reinforce national commitment to SDGs; familiarise relevant bodies with the SDG monitoring framework; and to consider development of dedicated surveys, or add-on modules, to pre-existing surveys which provide data for SDG indicators.
At the regional level, the UNODC-KOSTAT Centre of Excellence will continue to support methodological development through innovation, sharing best practices and developing a strong network of stakeholders for capacity building, particularly through the development of a Regional Advisory Group which will offer guidance to the Centre. Throughout this process, the Centre will build technical capacity of countries in the region through understanding regional needs, while developing a sub-regional focus to ensure relevance of the technical assistance.
The event was jointly organized by the Institute for Crime Prevention of the Ministry of Justice (ICPMJ) of China, the UNODC-KOSTAT CoE, the Research and Trends Analysis of UNODC, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the Thailand Institute of Justice (TIJ), with support from the UNODC-INEGI Centre of Excellence for Statistical Information on Governance, Security, Victimization and Justice (UNODC-INEGI CoE).