16 November 2023, Male (Maldives) - The UNODC Global Programme on Implementing the Organized Crime Convention was in Male, the Maldives to host two back-to back meetings: the Regional Multi-stakeholder Meeting on Strategies against Organized Crime and a Regional Event on Gender and Human Rights Mainstreaming in Preventing and Combating Organized Crime. Organized in partnership with UNODC Regional Office for South Asia, the event brought together policymakers, legislators, academia, international organizations and civil society from across the region with the purpose of discussing strategies against organized crime, as well as tools and best practices on mainstreaming gender equality and human rights considerations in the implementation of UNTOC.
The event included presentations from the Project Team on the topic and practical exercises to bring the new found information from "theory to practice". Additionally, a series of panel discussion were held with presentations from civil society organizations and academia from across the region. A clear message emanated from these discussions: Implementing UNTOC is everyone’s responsibility.
We asked one of our workshop participants, Ms. Anita Neupane Thapalia, Executive Director, Legal Aid and Consultancy Centre (LACC), of her motivation behind attending the workshop:
"The issue of organized crime is very sensitive, however it has not been prioritized by various stakeholders within the region. The workshop addressed this problem through inviting many actors from several countries to share their experiences in preventing and combating organized crime. This was a great opportunity for me to learn and to share my experiences, which inspired me to be part of this workshop."
When asked what she most enjoyed about the workshop, she highlighted that:
"The methodology used during the four days was very effective and encouraged the participants, including myself, to actively engage with the content. One of the main takeaways for me, is the importance of gender and human rights mainstreaming in the fight against organized crime, and the new Gender and Human Rights Toolkit which will support me in these efforts. In particular, I am inspired by the ‘twin-track approach’ that is promoted in the Toolkit."
By the end of the four-day workshop, participants learned and shared best practices related to the development of comprehensive and inclusive organized crime strategies. In doing so, they relied on the "Four P’s Framework" set out in the Organized Crime Strategy Toolkit, placed a strong emphasis on gender equality and human rights considerations, and discussed how to practically adopt a multistakeholder approach to the fight against organized crime. The considerations shared during the event will be used to produce a regional policy brief, aimed at promoting a shared understanding of organized crime priorities in the region and fostering joint efforts in combating this problem.
UNODC wishes to acknowledge the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada for their generous support, as well as the Government of the Maldives for hosting the event.