UNODC and South Korea collaborate to stenghten criminal justice and prison reform in the Gambia

On May 31, 2018, UNODC and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed a grant arrangement to "Support criminal justice and prison reform process in The Gambia and strengthen law enforcement and judicial mechanisms for the prevention of serious crimes and money laundering".

The Grant Arrangement was signed by Ms. Eunju Cha, Resident Representative for KOICA country office in Senegal and Mr. Pierre Lapaque, UNODC Regional Representative for West and Central Africa. This signature seals the first-of-its-kind partnership between KOICA and UNODC in the region, in a bid to establish a framework of cooperation and to facilitate collaboration.

KOICA will provide support to UNODC under its Fragile and Conflict-affected States Assistance Program to implement the project for a duration of 18 months starting from May 2018. UNODC will implement this important project to support the criminal justice sector of The Gambia. UNODC and KOICA will further continue to forge a close and complementary relationship in order to assist The Gambia in continuing its historical democratic transition.

The project aims at addressing several key reform priorities identified by the Government, namely, capacity-building for criminal justice officers to enable them to better investigate and prosecute crimes such as money laundering, trafficking in persons and drug-related offences; targeted capacity-building in the areas of international cooperation in criminal justice matters, including on how to effectively recover stolen assets; and lastly, improvement of the Gambian prison system and detention conditions of the prisoners, in line with international standards.

At national level, UNODC will work closely with the Ministries of Justice, Interior, and Finance, the Office of the Attorney General, the Police, the Drug Law Enforcement Agency of The Gambia, the Financial Intelligence Unit and The Gambia Prison Service to ensure its national ownership and to pave the way for institutional sustainability.

Mr Pierre Lapaque UNODC Regional Representative and Ms Ms. Eunju Cha, KOICA Resident Representative

UNODC has already been working with the Government of The Gambia under a number of projects and initiatives in the areas of the fight against transnational organized crime, trafficking in persons, illicit trafficking and cross-border organized crime in the framework of the UN system support.

Building on the existing partnership with The Gambia, UNODC will continue its assistance in strengthening the country's criminal justice system with the aforesaid project activities on prison reform, criminal justice reform, as well as on asset recovery and fight against money laundering. This Grant Arrangement with KOICA reaffirms UNODC's strong support to The Gambia in building strong democratic institutions, ensuring full respect for the rule of law and human rights. The project works towards the successful implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 16 on "peace, justice and strong institutions," in its efforts to develop accessible, accountable and effective criminal justice systems in The Gambia.

For more information:

International Conference for the Gambia

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