Putting the commitments of the Kyoto Crime Congress into action

© UNIS Vienna

KYOTO/VIENNA, 11 March 2021 – The ongoing Kyoto Crime Congress is organized according to four workshops that give an opportunity for expert practitioners to come together and discuss practical issues on how to improve crime prevention and move from commitments made to actions implemented

“The formal discussion of Member States will remain an empty box if there are not people that will implement those commitments through practical actions”, said Angela Me, Chief of UNODC Research.

Together with its partners, UNODC organized and chaired the workshops where experts form government authorities, international organizations, academia and civil society discussed practical approaches and exchanged best practices.

Preventing crime requires solid evidence from a multitude of sources and stakeholders.  Modernizing crime information system requires the use of non-traditional data sources for more timely data, the employment of qualitative and quantitative analysis and independent evaluations to assess what works and what does not’ work in crime prevention in different circumstances.  

Knowledge of basic facts about crime – such as levels of various crime types and their trends, their geographical distribution, and population groups that are most at risk is of paramount importance if we want to set priority areas for crime prevention interventions.

UNODC offers high-quality data, research and evaluation to inform policymaking and provide valuable sources of knowledge in the fields of drugs and crime.

Reducing reoffending after imprisonment leads to fewer victims, greater community safety and less pressure on – and lower costs for – the criminal justice system.

This approach requires effective rehabilitation and social reintegration practices in prison, in the community, and throughout the offender’s time in contact with the criminal justice system. Yet, this cannot be achieved by criminal justice authorities alone. They must develop partnerships with various public- and private-sector stakeholders, engaging them throughout the process towards offenders’ social reintegration.

UNODC is the custodian of international standards and norms in the fields of prisons, such as the Nelson Mandela rules, which recognizes and encourages rehabilitative approaches.

With youth representing around 30 per cent of the world’s population, countries are increasingly recognising that education and youth engagement are key to making our societies resilient to crime.

Education has a major role to play in shaping the values of future generations, building collective consciousness and reshaping societal preferences. In addition, education helps develop the necessary skills to enact those values. It also plays a key role in fostering a culture of lawfulness and engaging society at large in promoting the rule of law. Thus, education is a key enabler of youth becoming positive agents of change and promoters of the rule of law.

Youth and young people are essential to accomplishing UNODC’s mandates of enhancing the rule of law and improving human security, including justice and health priorities. The Office also offers initiatives focussing on youth, such as Line Up Live Up, strengthening youth resilience to crime and violence through sports, and Education for Justice, teaching students on subjects related to the rule of law.

Crime, policing and security are enabled by and co-evolve with technologies. Current crime trends show that while criminals compete with law enforcement and criminal justice authorities for gaining technological advantage, the misuse of technological innovations has provided fertile ground for crime to flourish.

While advances in technology have benefitted criminals, they also leave behind virtual signatures to follow that well trained law enforcement and criminal justice authorities can use  to trace them.

UNODC is supporting the fight against the growing use of information and communication technologies by criminals through its expertise in the fields of cybercrime and money laundering, among others.