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What we do


Within the broad scope of its mandate to develop and implement improved policies in the field of crime prevention and control, the mission of UNICRI is to advance justice and the rule of law in support of peace and sustainable development.

UNICRI works in specialized niches and selected areas within the fields of crime prevention, criminal justice, security governance, counter-terrorism, and the risks and benefits of technological advances.

UNICRI continues to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on crime prevention, criminal justice, human rights, and vulnerable populations. UNICRI’s work is particularly relevant now to assist the international community in dealing with the unprecedented challenges and threats to public health, the economy, and social and political stability around the world.

Addressing threats and challenges

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.
Strategic priorities

In line with the above UNICRI addresses the following 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.

The priorities of the Institute are aligned with Goal 16 (Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels), but they are also linked to several other Goals (2–6, 8, 9, 11, 14 and 15).