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Mission and Statute

As the United Nations entity mandated to assist intergovernmental, governmental and nongovernmental organizations in their efforts to formulate and implement improved policies in the fields of crime prevention and justice administration, UNICRI acts with its partners in the international community to:

  • advance understanding of crime-related problems;
  • foster just and efficient criminal justice systems;
  • support the respect of international instruments and other standards;
  • facilitate international law enforcement cooperation and judicial assistance.

What UNICRI does...

With more than 50 years of international action, UNICRI has acquired a unique experience in dealing with crime and justice issues within broader policies for socio-economic change and development, and the protection of human rights.

UNICRI supports other international organizations, national and local governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and the private sector through:

  • quantitative and qualitative analysis;
  • establishing a reliable base of knowledge;
  • identifying appropriate strategies, policies and instruments;
  • designing practical models and systems;
  • design and implementation of training and technical cooperation activities at the interregional and national levels;
  • exchange and dissemination of information/documentation worldwide to respond to the need of the international community;
  • provision of advisory services.

Through its research, needs assessments and analyses of evolving trends, as well as the feedback received from partners, academics, civil society actors, policymakers and practitioners, UNICRI has identified the following threats and challenges in its Strategic Programme Framework for the period 2019–2022

  1. Radicalization and violent extremism: the lack of context-specific responses, weak criminal justice systems, and gaps in national and transnational cooperation; 
  2. Transnational organized crime involvement in licit and illicit markets: shadow economies, illicit financial flows and possible links with terrorist networks;  
  3. Weak security governance, poor rule of law and lack of accountability of institutions in post-conflict areas; 
  4. High-tech security: encompassing global threats and solutions;  
  5. Threats to crowded spaces and vulnerable targets; 
  6. Vulnerabilities to criminal exploitation, gender inequalities and human rights violations against vulnerable populations; 
  7. Emerging trends in crimes having an impact on the environment: illegal extraction, use of and trade in environmental resources and trafficking in hazardous substances. 

The Framework contains the following six strategic priorities:  

  1. Preventing and countering violent extremism; 
  2. Countering organized crime and fighting all forms of trafficking and illicit financial flows; 
  3. Reinforcing the rule of law in post-conflict countries; 
  4. Security through research, technology and innovation; 
  5. Threat response and risk mitigation: security governance; 
  6. Preventing crime through the protection and empowerment of vulnerable groups. 

As part of the United Nations, UNICRI sets its activities in accordance with the priorities indicated by the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice. The Institute maintains close working relations with UN bodies and agencies, particularly with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

In its operations, UNICRI has as partners a wide range of intergovernmental and governmental institutions, as well as academic institutions and non-governmental organizations.

UNICRI is presently ruled by the Statute adopted by ECOSOC with Resolution No. 1989/56 of 24 May 1989.