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UNICRI HQs in Turin (Italy)

What is UNICRI?

The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) was established in 1968 pursuant to Economic and Social Council Resolution 1086 B (XXXIX) of 1965, which urged an expansion of the United Nations activities in crime prevention and criminal justice. The Institute is an autonomous institution and is governed by its Board of Trustees.

Working within the broad scope of its mandate to design and implement improved policies and actions in the field of crime prevention and control, the mission of UNICRI is to advance justice, crime prevention, security and the rule of law in support of peace, human rights and sustainable development.

UNICRI’s work focuses on Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, that is centered on promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies, free from crime and violence. Justice, crime prevention and the rule of law are the basis for fighting poverty and reducing inequalities while enhancing economic growth and stability and protecting the environment. UNICRI supports governments and the international community at large in tackling criminal threats to social peace, development and political stability.

UNICRI' s goals are:

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

The Board of Trustees of UNICRI is composed by eminent experts. The staff cover a wide range of expertise in the management of research, specialized training and technical cooperation, and are supported by highly qualified consultants selected according to project requirements.

What UNICRI does

UNICRI's programmes aim to promote national self-reliance and the development of institutional capabilities. To this end, UNICRI provides a one-stop facility offering high-level expertise in crime prevention and criminal justice problems. Technical co-operation is enhanced by the use of action-oriented research to assist in the formulation of improved policies and concrete intervention programmes. Institutional and on-the-job training of specialized personnel form an integral part of UNICRI activities.

Areas of Action

With more than 50 years of experience, UNICRI has structured its work programmes and modus operandi in order to always be responsive to the needs of the international community.

UNICRI works in specialized niches and selected fields of crime prevention, justice, security governance, risks and benefits of advances in technologies, counter-terrorism and social cohesion. UNICRI's programmes focus on different areas with the aim of creating and testing  new and holistic approaches in preventing crime and promoting justice and development. UNICRI plays a leading role with respect to specific niches and supports/complements the work of other international organizations through its specialized and advanced services.

The Institute's current priorities include:

  • Artificial intelligence and robotics in the context of crime prevention and criminal justice;
  • Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear risks mitigation;
  • Cyber-crimes;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Environmental crimes;
  • Illicit financial flows and asset recovery;
  • Illicit trafficking in precious metals and gemstones;
  • Juvenile justice;
  • Nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism;
  • Protection of vulnerable populations and victims;
  • Strengthening international criminal law;
  • Tourism and major events security; and
  • Violent extremism (including rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders).