The Justice Section is UNODC's source for policy and normative guidance, substantive technical knowledge and expertise in crime prevention and criminal justice reform . The Justice Section’s activities aim at promoting access to justice for all and protecting the rule of law and human rights in the criminal justice systems of Member States.
Violence against women is one of the most widespread violations of human rights. It can include physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse, and it cuts across boundaries of age, race, culture, wealth and geography. Violence against women has far-reaching consequences, harming individuals, families and communities and gender-based violence not only violates human rights, but also hampers productivity, reduces human capital and undermines economic growth. This Global Programme promotes the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, particularly Sustainable Development Goal 5.2 on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.The objective of this Global Programme is to establish effective responses to violence against women and provide essential services to victims and survivors. In terms of outcomes, it aims at (i) developing the evidence base for law and policies in the area of violence against women and gender-related killing, (ii) helping Member States to align national legislative, policy, and institutional frameworks related to criminal justice with international standards and norms on violence against women, and (iii) supporting Member States to implement legal, policy, and institutional frameworks on violence against women that are in line with international standards and norms. Read more
The UNODC Global Programme to End Violence Against Children (Global Programme to END VAC), has been working to support States in their efforts to protect all children from violence since 2015 under four key thematic focus areas: 1) crime and violence prevention; 2) child victims and witnesses of crime; 3) juvenile justice; and 4) children recruited and exploited by terrorist and violent extremist groups (including those associated with Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF)). The Programme contributes to a number of Sustainable Development Goals namely, Goals 5, 8, 11, 16, 17.Ending violence against children (Target 16.2) is not only a target in itself but also a catalyst for many other goals and targets. Investing in ending violence against children is an essential goal for ensuring peace and security, upholding the rule of law and the development of future societies.
The Global Programme to END VAC provides technical assistance services at the global, regional and national levels to support States by: providing legal advisory services; developing policy guidance and technical tools; strengthening the capacity of professionals from the justice and other sectors in preventing and responding to violence against children; enhancing coordination mechanisms with a view to promoting multidisciplinary responses to protect children from violence; and promoting an integrated approach that recognizes that preserving public safety and promoting child rights are two complementary objectives to be pursued concomitantly in order to achieve long-lasting peace and security. Read more
As part of its efforts to support the implementation of the Doha Declaration, UNODC has launched a global youth crime prevention through sport initiative that builds on the power of sports as a tool for peace. The initiative aims to enhance the capacity of Member States to use sport and related activities as a tool for effective youth crime prevention by building resilience of youth in marginalized areas to crime, violence and drug use. Strengthening the life skills of youth is a key objective in order to minimize risk factors and maximize protective factors related to crime, violence and drug use. By enhancing knowledge of the consequences of crime and substance abuse and developing life skills, the initiative seeks to positively influence behaviour and attitudes of at-risk youth and prevent anti-social and risky behaviour. It further promotes sport as a tool for creating safe public spaces in the community for young people to develop, participate and positively interact with their peers and the community. Under the Education for Justice initiative of the Global Programme, UNODC has developed a range of innovative teaching materials to support primary, secondary and tertiary educators in teaching the next generation to better understand and address problems that can undermine human rights and the rule of law. At the tertiary level,
UNODC has worked in partnership with academics from around the world to develop comprehensive and inter-disciplinary University Modules on a broad range of topics in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice. UNODC supports academics, globally, in their use of these modules, by delivering capacity building activities, and through initiatives aimed at strengthening an interdisciplinary network of academics teaching on human rights, crime prevention, and criminal justice.Read more
The Global Programme supports criminal justice and penal reform programmes in Member States, upon request, under the following three strategic objectives: to reduce the resort to imprisonment, including by promoting more effective crime prevention, effective use of alternatives to imprisonment and access to justice, including through legal aid, improve prison management and contribute to reducing recidivism by supporting the social reintegration of offenders. As penal reform efforts should go beyond the prison administration in order to be successful and sustainable, national counterparts will not be limited to prison administrations and probation services, but may further include legislators, policymakers and criminal justice officials from the police, prosecution authorities, legal aid providers, the judiciary and the courts. All activities are implemented with a view to ensure specific criminal justice responses for women, and protecting the rights of children. Within the framework of the Global Programme, UNODC supports Member States in establishing a more rehabilitative approach to prison management.
The Office assists Member States to address recidivism by providing prison administrations with technical guidance on how to initiate and/or enhance rehabilitation programmes, in close coordination with other (non) governmental stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector. The guidance materials developed under the Global Programme, which are based on the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules), form the basis for the concrete technical assistance provided by UNODC to selected Member States around the world to support the implementation of prison-based effective rehabilitation and social reintegration programmes.Read more