Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Reform


Strengthening the rule of law, including criminal justice systems, encompasses a multitude of activities carried out by many entities within the UN system and the wider international community.

Since its inception, UNODC's work in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice has had a strong element of building partnerships with other UN agencies, regional organisations, international non-governmental organisations, and the institutes of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Network.

United Nations Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group

UNODC is part of the United Nations Rule of Coordination and Resource Group (RoLCRG), which is comprised of nine UN entities and agencies working on rule of law issues. It is chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General and supported by the Rule of Law Unit.

The RoLCRG serves an important coordination function, while the operational role remains squarely with individual UN entities. RoLCRG's role is to ensure coherence and minimize fragmentation across all thematic rule of law areas including justice, security, prison and penal reform, legal reform, constitution-making, and transitional justice. The mission of its members is to work together and in support of one another, in the spirit of shared values and principles, to ensure effective and coherent UN rule of law efforts that are aligned with the aspirations of partners at the national and international levels.

UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action)

UNODC is also part of the UN Action against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action) which unites the work of 13 UN entities with the goal of ending sexual violence in conflict. This action represents a concerted effort by the UN system to improve coordination and accountability, amplify programming and advocacy, and support national efforts to prevent sexual violence occurring during conflict and to respond effectively to victims' needs.

The UN Action has three main pillars:

  • Country level action: To support joint strategy development and programming by UN Country Teams and Peacekeeping Operations, including building operational and technical capacity.
  • Advocating for action: To raise public awareness and generate political will to address sexual violence as part of a broader campaign to Stop Rape Now.
  • Learning by doing: To create a knowledge hub regarding the scale of sexual violence occurring in conflict, and to develop effective responses by the UN and partners.

Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice

UNODC is a member of the Interagency Panel on Juvenile Justice (IPJJ). The IPJJ was established in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1997/30 and has the overarching objective of facilitating and enhancing country and global level coordination in the provision of technical advice and assistance from members of the Panel in the area of child justice. The IPJJ began its work in 2000 and established a Permanent Secretariat in May 2007, in Geneva, with the purpose of further developing, strengthening, and consolidating its work. Since May 2010, the Panel is composed of six UN bodies and six non-governmental organisations active in juvenile justice reform.

The IPJJ's overarching objective is to facilitate and enhance country and global level coordination on technical advice and assistance in juvenile justice.

Armed Violence Prevention Programme (AVPP)

UNODC collaborates with the UN Armed Violence Prevention Programme (AVPP) to better meet the challenges of countries facing high levels of armed violence.  AVPP aims at promoting effective responses to armed violence, the overall objective of the programme being to promote effective responses to armed violence beyond security sector reform.

United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network

UNODC cooperates with the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network, which supports the efforts the UN in the area of crime prevention and criminal justice.