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UNODC is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs and international crime. Established in 1997 through a merger between the United Nations Drug Control Programme and the Centre for International Crime Prevention, UNODC operates in all regions of the world through an extensive network of field offices. UNODC relies on voluntary contributions, mainly from Governments, for 90 per cent of its budget.

UNODC is mandated to assist Member States in their struggle against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. In the Millennium Declaration, Member States also resolved to intensify efforts to fight transnational crime in all its dimensions, to redouble the efforts to implement the commitment to counter the world drug problem and to take concerted action against international terrorism.

The three pillars of the UNODC work programme are:

1) Field-based technical cooperation projects to enhance the capacity of Member States to counteract illicit drugs, crime and terrorism

2) Research and analytical work to increase knowledge and understanding of drugs and crime issues and expand the evidence base for policy and operational decisions

3) Normative work to assist States in the ratification and implementation of the relevant international treaties, the development of domestic legislation on drugs, crime and terrorism, and the provision of secretariat and substantive services to the treaty-based and governing bodies

In pursuing its objectives, UNODC makes every effort to integrate and mainstream the gender perspective, particularly in its projects for the provision of alternative livelihoods, as well as those against human trafficking.


Violence against women represents a violation of dignity, safety, and human rights. The issue of violence against women is immense, particularly in the context of domestic violence, conflict and war, and human trafficking. Yet it is often seen as a private matter, something that goes on behind closed doors. It is not - it is a crime, and the state has a responsibility to protect women that are victims of violence. Some countries lack laws that criminalize violence against women. Others have the laws, but fail to implement them. In order to assist Member States to enact and implement laws in this area, the United Nations has produced the Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Women in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice services.

UNODC offers assistance in:

- Strengthening women and girls' access to justice;

- Supporting the development of legislation that protects the rights of women and girls and reflects regional and international law and human rights standards;

- Developing training programmes on how to apply international and regional laws and human rights standards on criminal justice in the domestic setting; and

- Building the capacity of women to serve at all levels of the criminal justice system, including positions of authority.


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