UNODC reinforces stakeholder engagement in the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in Asia

“iStockphoto/ MilosMalinic”

Vienna (Austria), 13 November 2020 — With the aim to strengthen capacities of non-governmental stakeholders from Asia to support Member States in the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and its review mechanism — the UNODC Civil Society Unit organized an online training for representatives of non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), academics and the private sector from 10 to 12 November 2020.

The training brought together some 40 participants from 18 countries, including 30% youth participants. It included a networking session that allowed the participants to get to know each other and the work of their institutions and a further session that introduced tools for engagement in the areas of advocacy, monitoring and evaluation, awareness-raising, research, education and training, and multi-stakeholder partnership.

In his welcoming remarks, Jean-Luc Lemahieu, UNODC’s Director of the Division for Policy Analysis and Public Affairs, said “While the impact of COVID-19 will vary from country to country, it will most likely increase poverty and inequalities at a global scale, making achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals even more urgent.”

Louise Taylor, the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC), stressed that civil society voices are vital for the UNTOC review mechanism. David Coughran, the Permanent Mission of the United States in Vienna, referred to this training as “a very big deal” and added that “for the UNTOC review mechanism to achieve its mandate, we needed to find a way to leverage the unique expertise and insight that your organizations can bring to bear on the most pressing problems of the 21st century.”   

The engaged discussions in breakout groups resulted in many valuable recommendations including:

  • Creating more opportunities to prevent young people from falling victims to organized crime networks; 
  • Better training of police and immigration officials on suspected cases of sex/labor trafficking, and of judges and prosecutors on domestic trafficking laws;
  • Including perspectives of victims in information gathering and increasing protection for migrants, particularly for whistleblowers;
  • Enhancing inter-regional networking due to often cross-regional nature of trafficking and smuggling; and
  • Engaging (social) media to raise awareness about the review process.  


The recommendations will be studied carefully by UNODC and used to further strengthen the engagement of non-governmental stakeholders in the implementation of the UNTOC and its review mechanism.

Additional resources

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC)

UNTOC Review Mechanism

Toolkit on Stakeholder Engagement: Implementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Guide for civil society community engaging with the UNTOC Review Mechanism

Introduction video of UNTOC and its Review Mechanism