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close this bookThe United Nations and Crime Prevention - Seeking Security and Justice for All (UN, 1996, 170 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction: Seeking security and justice for all
View the documentChapter 1 - A short history of international cooperation against crime
View the documentChapter 2 - The costs of crime
View the documentChapter 3 - The United Nations crime prevention system
View the documentChapter 4 - United Nations Congresses on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders
View the documentChapter 5 - Technical cooperation and advisory services
View the documentChapter 6 - Affiliated and associated institutes
Open this folder and view contentsAppendices: United Nations standards, guidelines and international instruments

Chapter 6 - Affiliated and associated institutes

From the beginning, United Nations criminal justice policy has been formulated with a worldwide perspective. Already by the 1950s, however, there was also recognition of the need for regional centres to serve groups of countries that share similar traditions and experience closely related crime problems.

Accordingly, when regional seminars for preparation of the First Crime Congress were held, it was suggested at the meetings taking place in 1953 at Rio de Janeiro and SPaulo, Brazil, that a Latin American institute be established. Among its main purposes would be organizing training courses, conducting research in the field of criminal justice, assisting Governments of the region, providing advisory opinions on policy matters, organizing regional seminars and facilitating cooperation among the States of the region and with the United Nations. Similar proposals came from the Arab seminar at Cairo, Egypt, in 1953 and the Asia and Far East seminar at Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar), in 1954.

At present, regional institutes affiliated with the United Nations serve Asia and the Pacific region, Latin America, Europe and Africa, and an interregional institute is situated in Rome. There are also UN-associated institutes serving the Arab States, North America and Oceania.


United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute

Established in 1968 as the United Nations Social Defence Research Institute (UNSDRI), the Institute was originally conceived as the research arm of the United Nations criminal justice programme. As the Institute's work expanded, research was increasingly applied to training and field activities on behalf of developing countries In May 1989 ECOSOC adopted a new Statute, transforming UNSDRI into UNICRI and updating the Institute's terms of reference and modus operandi to incorporate this broadened and result-oriented approach.

Activities of the United Nations institute may be loosely grouped under five categories: action-oriented research (pride of place being given to an international comparative approach at the interregional level and, secondarily, the regional level); technical cooperation; training; library and documentation services; and publications. UNICRI's current work includes projects on:

· Crime and development
· Sentencing policy and practice, with emphasis on alternatives to imprisonment
· Crime prevention and social control
· Environmental crime
· Juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice
· Drug abuse prevention and control
· Economic crime
· Training courses in research methodology
· Training courses for judicial personnel and social operators.

UNICRI maintains close consultative and cooperative relationships with the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division and also works closely with the regional institutes and with relevant United Nations programmes and agencies. The Institute organizes the research components of the United Nations Crime Congresses and, in collaboration with the Division, prepares documentation for each upcoming Congress.

The Institute library holds more than 15,000 monographs, and approximately 500 serial titles (printed and CD-ROM). Of particular importance is the collection of documents, mainly from the United Nations and the Council of Europe, as well as pamphlets and grey literature. Acquisition policy is based on an interdisciplinary approach: while texts on penal law and criminology comprise the core of the collection, there are also social science methodology reports on socio-economic conditions and on social policy interventions.

UNICRI is assuming a leading role in the development of the United Nations Criminal Justice Information Programme and in analysing and disseminating the results of the United Nations Crime Surveys. Its International Crime (Victim) Survey, prepared in time for the Ninth Crime Congress, is the most comprehensive effort to date to assess the incidence of crime worldwide through personal interviews with samples drawn from the general population. Also designed to aid the Ninth Congress was a study of criminal justice responses to attacks on natural environments, based on 90 case studies of 11 countries on six continents (see Chapter IV). Since 1974, UNICRI has published six editions of its World Directory of Criminological Institutes.

UNICRI's headquarters are situated in the historic centre of Rome, occupying a seventeenth-century building originally erected as a progressive custodial facility dedicated by Pope Innocent X to "justice and clemency" and "the more secure and better custody of criminals". The facility is placed at UNICRI's disposal by the Government of Italy.

United Nations Interregional Crime and
Justice Research Institute
Via Giulia, 52-00186
Rome, Italy
Tel.: 39-6-687-7437
Fax: 39-6-689-2638
Telex: 610181 Fao I Unicri
Cable: UNICRI 00186 Roma


Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of offenders

The first of the United Nations criminological institutes, UNAFEI carries out an extensive programme of training, technical cooperation, research, documentation and publications from a modern facility in Fuchu, on the outskirts of Tokyo, Japan.

Since its establishment in 1962 and through 1995, UNAFEI conducted 101 international seminars and training courses for professionals with ranking positions in police forces, prosecutors' offices, the judiciary, correctional services and probationary and welfare agencies. Three-month training courses are held twice a year, and there is an annual month-long seminar to meet the needs of top-level administrators and policymakers.

In addition, UNAFEI conducts overseas joint seminars in cooperation with host Governments to discuss how to improve criminal justice administrations and combat organized crime and drug trafficking. UNAFEI staff are dispatched to nations in Asia and the Pacific region to arrange two-week seminars, attended by high-ranking policymakers, administrators and academicians. Through 1995, UNAFEI has conducted 16 of these joint seminars, in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Singapore, Nepal, the Republic of Korea and Pakistan. The discussions also served to update participants on new United Nations criminal justice policies, services and publications.

To enhance the ability of criminal justice personnel to cope with drug offences, UNAFEI and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have conducted regional professional seminars in Costa Rica since 1987, and in Thailand since 1992.

Past technical cooperation projects include a comparative survey of juvenile delinquency in Asia and the Far East, research on open correctional institutions in the same region, and work on implementing the standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners in Asia.

UNAFEI also holds workshops on criminal justice issues in cooperation with other UN agencies.

Visiting experts and participants in the training courses contribute articles to a frequently published "Resource Material Series", and the Institute summarizes the results of each training session in its UNAFEI Newsletter. Among the books available free of charge are Drug Control in Asia, Crime and Justice in Asia and the Pacific, and An Empirical Study on Development and Crime Prevention. Recent UNAFEI publications include Asia Crime Report No. 1, Crime Trends in Asia and the Pacific and Criminal Justice Profiles of Asia.

The Institute's Fuchu facility includes a dormitory, a conference hall, a library, an auditorium, seminar rooms and Japanese-style guest rooms for students and visiting lecturers.

For the first five years of UNAFEI's existence, administrative responsibility was borne equally by the United Nations and the Government of Japan. Financial assistance from the United Nations began to decline in 1966, and was discontinued in 1970. Since that time, virtually all administrative and financial obligations have been assumed by the Government of Japan. The Director of UNAFEI is appointed in consultation with the United Nations.

Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of
Crime and the Treatment of Offenders
1-26, Harumi-cho
Tokyo, Japan 183
Tel.: 81-423-33-7021
Fax: 81-423-33-7024, -68-8500


The United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Delinquency

ILANUD was founded in 1975 under the terms of an agreement between the United Nations and the Government of Costa Rica, with the mission of encouraging and supporting the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in strengthening their criminal justice systems, preventing crime and restructuring mechanisms of social control.

ILANUD's approach to attaining these objectives is to assist the United Nations in five action areas: citizen security, environmental crimes and misdemeanors, public corruption, new forms of organized crime and management of justice systems. These fields of action were chosen on the basis of relevant UN guidelines, the expressed needs of countries, the Institute's specialities and strengths, and optimal international cooperation. ILANUD addresses these issues through implementation of programmes and projects entailing research, technical assistance, training and dissemination of scientific information.

One of the Institute's most important activities in this regard is development of the Administration of Justice Information System for Latin America (AJIS), which provides information services to justice-sector institutions, academic centres, organizations affiliated with the justice sector and international cooperation agencies. The AJIS consists of eight databases: international cooperation agencies, studies and assessments, experts, legislation, agenda, crime policies, statistics and international documents.

The United Nations Latin American Institute for
Crime Prevention and the Treatment of Offenders
P.O. Box 10071-1000
San Jose, Costa Rica
Tel.: 506-257-5826
Fax: 506-233-7175


The United Nations African Regional Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders

Since 1989, UNAFRI has concentrated on providing training and human resources development, policy advice and information and documentation for criminal justice systems on the African continent.

A pilot survey on "African Crime, Criminal Justice Administration and Victimization" was completed in May 1993. That same year workshops were held on the subjects of penal law reform, training for administrators and implementation of United Nations standards and guidelines. In 1994, a Joint Meeting of African Ministers of Justice and Internal Affairs was held at the Institute's headquarters in Kampala, Uganda, in conjunction with a regional meeting in preparation for the Ninth Crime Congress.

Through 1995, 13 seminar reports have been published and distributed and a UNAFRI newsletter has been published twice yearly, work was also initiated on an African crime data bank.

The work of UNAFRI has been interrupted by a recent financial crisis, and arrangements to secure consistent funding are under way.

UNAFRI Secretariat
P.O. Box 10590
Kampala, Uganda
Tel.: 256-41-285-236
Fax: 256-41-221-119


The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control

Formerly known as the Helsinki Institute, HEUNI was established by a 1981 United Nations agreement with Finland to promote cooperation in crime prevention and control among the countries of Europe with different socio-economic systems. Budgetary responsibility for HEUNI lies with the Government of Finland, although other Governments have also supported the Institute financially.

With the rapid reform of formerly centralized economies in Europe, the Institute has increasingly focused on the needs of emerging democracies in the central and eastern part of the continent. Advice and assistance have been provided in areas such as police standards, drug trafficking, prison administration and domestic violence. HEUNI and the Hungarian Ministry of Justice arranged a seminar on strategies for confronting domestic violence, based on a resource manual which the Institute helped to prepare. In cooperation with the Slovenian authorities, HEUNI furthermore is planning to organize a pilot course for central and eastern Europe on preventing domestice violence. Projects to assist with computerization of criminal justice systems in Bulgaria and Russia are also under way.

European seminars organized by HEUNI are attended by senior government officials and criminological experts from across the continent. The topics are defined and planned by a working group of experts from different countries and fields, a project coordinator prepares documentation for the meetings, and the proceedings of the seminar and report of the project coordinator are published.

Smaller "meetings of experts" explore specific issues in depth. Such meetings at times are convened to offer a European perspective on draft documents of United Nations criminal justice policy.

The topics covered in the European seminars, the meetings of experts and additional research projects are selected in accordance with the criminal justice programme of the United Nations and current priorities within the European region.

Beginning with the first European seminar, on "The Feasibility of a European Information System on Trends in Crime and Criminal Policy", HEUNI has been actively involved with plans for a global United Nations information system on crime and criminal justice. Preparatory work includes ascertaining present and projected needs for various types of information, charting sources such as databanks and experts from European countries and study of the appropriate technology for gathering, processing and disseminating information.

HEUNI has further contributed to the work of the United Nations crime prevention programme by advising on organizational restructuring, preparing reports and papers for Crime Congresses and planning for and analysing the four UN crime surveys.

HEUNI has established a publications series for dissemination of reports of projects, proceedings of the European seminars and contributions from European experts. Among the titles are The Legal Scope of Non-Prosecution in Europe, The Role of the Victim of Crime in European Criminal Justice Systems, Non-Custodial Alternatives in Europe, Criminal Law and the Environment, Policing in Central and Eastern Europe, Foreigners in Prison, Crime and Criminal Justice in Europe and North America 1986-1990, Directory of Criminal Justice Computer Applications 1995 and Crime Prevention Strategies in Europe and North America. HEUNI's Newsletter is published twice yearly.

The European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control
P.O. Box 161
Helsinki, Finland
Tel.: 358-0-18251
Fax: 358-0-1825-7890

The Arab Security Studies and Training Centre

Located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Centre is an intergovernmental organization, a specialized regional centre servicing the Arab world under the aegis of the Council of Ministers of the Interior of the League of Arab States, as well as an institute associated with the UN's Crime and Criminal Justice Programme.

A six-member board of directors, chaired by the Minister of the Interior of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, governs the Centre. All of the Arab League countries are members of the Centre and contribute to its budget.

The Centre's activities are geared to the context of Arab socio-economic and cultural conditions, utilizing a cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary approach. The Centre's work programme emphasizes comparative research and policy development, specialized literature and documentation services, training and graduate education and technical cooperation.

The Centre's components include a research facility, a security information centre, a consultancy office, a specialized library and publishing house, a Graduate School of Criminal Justice, a training institute, a department of symposia and scientific meetings, forensic sciences laboratories, security exhibitions, an international cooperation department and an audio-visual unit.

Since commencing operations in 1981, the Research Centre has carried out 121 research projects and studies. Advanced academic programmes for security personnel and criminal justice professionals are conducted by the Centre's Graduate School of Criminal Justice, covering areas such as Islamic criminal justice, drug control, civil protection and safety, traffic management, criminal investigation, rehabilitation in correctional institutions and police leadership. The Consultative Bureau responds to requests for technical cooperation and advice from Governments, and a computer centre collects and analyses statistics and stays on-line with international databases.

The Centre publishes a number of periodical journals and newsletters, including The Arab Journal for Security Studies and Training (bi-annual), a monthly magazine, a monthly newsletter in English, and the newsletter of the International Scientific and Advisory Council of the United Nations, as well as books, reports and other materials.

An expanding array of conferences, symposia, expert meetings, public lectures and public exhibitions are sponsored by the Centre. In recent years, the topics covered include issues such as money laundering, car theft, drug control, tourism security, the role of education in combating crime, and management of correctional institutions.

In January 1988, the Centre hosted a United Nations international conference on research and crime prevention, focusing on alternatives to imprisonment; and an international meeting of experts to help develop the draft United Nations Standards for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency was convened at Riyadh in March 1988 at the invitation of the Centre. The Centre also took an active role in preparations for the Ninth Crime Congress, held in Cairo in 1995.

Review of the functioning and work programme of the Arab Security Studies and Training Centre as a regional Arab centre in the fields of crime prevention and criminal justice indicates that it is striving to attain its major objectives: the reduction of criminality, improved efficiency and efficacy of criminal justice administration and the promotion of professional standards of conduct.

The Arab Security Studies and
Training Centre
P.O. Box 6830
Riyadh 11452, Saudi Arabia
Tel.: 966-1-246-3444
Fax: 966-1-246-4713
Telex: 400949: AMNIYA SJ


The Austrialian Institute of Criminology

The AIC is an Australian federal government agency, established in 1973 to engage in research and related activities in the field of criminology. From the outset, the Institute fulfilled obligations and responsibilities in the international and regional arenas. Its involvement in United Nations activities dates to a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in July 1988.

The Institute advises the Division on implementation of its programme and collaborates in seminars and training courses. It cooperates with UNAFEI in the collection of data and statistics in Asia and the Pacific, takes part in preparations for UN Crime Congresses, hosts international visitors and maintains regional and interregional links with the relevant United Nations bodies. Special emphasis is given to implementation of crime prevention and criminal justice programmes in the countries of the Pacific region, and this has involved the director of the Institute and other staff in delivering lectures, attending conferences and discussing matters of mutual interest with government officials of those countries.

AIC research has specialized in violence against women, aboriginal justice issues, drug issues, environmental crime, fraud control and police administration. Its Deaths in Custody Monitoring Programme was established in 1992, following the investigation of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody; the AIC also maintains a homicide monitoring programme and a crime and violence prevention programme.

The Institute's J.V. Barry Library holds one of the world's foremost criminological collections. Publications include a series on "Trends and Issues in Crime and Criminal Justice", a quarterly journal called Criminology Australia and a monograph series on "Australian Studies in Law, Crime and Justice". The AIC catalogue lists approximately 250 backlist titles, available from the publications programme.

Australian Institute of Criminology
G.P.O. Box 2944
Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Tel.: 61-6-260-9200
Fax: 61-6-260-9201

The International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy

The International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, founded in 1991 in Vancouver, Canada, as a joint initiative of the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, became affiliated with the United Nations in July 1995.

The objective of the Centre is to improve the quality of justice through reform of criminal law, policy and practice. The Centre promotes democratic principles, the rule of law and respect for human rights in criminal law and in the administration of criminal justice - domestically, regionally and globally. It provides advice, information, research and proposals for policy development and legislation. Giving primary emphasis to information and knowledge, the Centre is actively involved in education and training. The Centre also provides technical assistance to Governments and other agencies as appropriate.

The Centre has contributed to and is active in global efforts to create a permanent International Criminal Court of Criminal Jurisdiction. It is also active in research in the areas of combating organized crime, including money-laundering; corruption of public officials; and enforcement and prevention options.

In response to a growing need for renewal of criminal justice institutions, the International Centre has completed a review of activities in the field of sentencing and corrections. A consultation document entitled "Opportunities for Renewal in Sentencing and Corrections" serves as the focal point for this work, which is carried out in cooperation with the Correctional Service of Canada and other national and international partners. The goal in this programmatic area is to put universally recognized human values and principles applicable to sentencing and corrections into practice.

In collaboration with the Division and UNICRI, the Centre is developing a reference document on the role, preparation and performance of civilian peace-keeping police.

The Centre has developed a training curriculum for criminal justice professionals working against domestic violence, and also provided technical assistance in the development of training courses.

The International Centre for Criminal Law
Reform and Criminal Justice Policy at the
University of British Columbia
Legal Annex II, Faculty of Law
1822 East Mall, Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z1
Tel.: 604-822-9875
Fax: 604-822-9317

The International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences

Also entering the United Nations network of institutes in the 1990s is the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences, located in Siracusa, Italy. Formal association, however, follows a long informal relationship. Founded in 1972, the Siracusa institute is devoted to studies, research and the advancement of criminal sciences, with particular emphasis on human rights.

The Institute prepared a draft convention on the prevention and suppression of torture, which was submitted to the United Nations in 1978 and adopted by the General Assembly as a formal Convention in 1984. Other international instruments elaborated by the Institute include Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession, Principles on the Protection of the Rights of the Mentally 111, and model treaties on the transfer of prisoners, transfer of criminal proceedings, extradition and enforcement of sentences.

The Institute has hosted conferences, seminars and meetings of experts in cooperation with the Division, as well as with the Centre for Human Rights. Over the last 22 years, it has conducted over 150 programmes, with the involvement of more than 12,000 jurors from 128 countries, and has cooperated with more than 40 non-governmental and governmental organizations. It has published 76 books.

The International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences
c/o Dr. Grazia Amato
Via Agati, 12
96100 Siracusa, Italy
Tel.: 39-931-35511/35611
Fax: 39-931-442605


The National Institute of Justice for the Prevention of Crime

In May 1995, the National Institute of Justice became the latest addition to the network of institutes affiliated or associated with the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme. The enabling Memorandum of Agreement was signed by the United States Department of Justice and the United Nations Office at Vienna at the Ninth Crime Congress, held in Cairo, Egypt. The NIJ, which promotes the exchange of criminal justice information worldwide, most notably over the Internet, joined the network after 25 years of operation.

As the research arm of the United States Department of Justice, the NIJ conducts studies of factors contributing to criminal behaviour, sponsors pilot projects in the criminal justice field and identifies emerging trends. Grants to criminal justice scholars support research in six key areas: reducing violent crime, reducing drug- and alcohol-related crime, reducing the consequences of crime, crime prevention programmes, improving law enforcement and the criminal justice system, and new technologies for law enforcement and criminal justice. The NIJ has sponsored studies on violence (particularly youth and family violence) and substance abuse, community policing, drug treatment courts, corrections and violence against women, and works with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address use of firearms by young people. Along with other US government agencies, the NIJ has developed an electronic information line, Partnerships Against Violence Network (PAVENT), for citizens and community groups seeking to locate anti-violence programmes in the US.

The Institute administers the International Document Exchange, with 105 members in 50 countries. To further promote the global exchange of information, the NIJ and the Mitre Corporation are developing, on behalf of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division, an Internet linkage between the United Nations criminological institutes. A special NIJ project, the International Rule of Law Online Clearinghouse Project, provides information on institution-building to the States of the former Soviet Union and to other countries. The Institute also administers a clearing-house of criminal justice information, the National Criminal Justice Reference Services (NCJRS), with a database and reference service that are available worldwide.

The Institute's extensive publications programme includes full reports of research and evaluation projects, conference proceedings and reports, the NIJ Journal, publications catalogs and drug use forecasting reports. All NIJ documents are published electronically, and the backlist is being converted to on-line availability. Accessibility is through the NCJRS and its electronic bulletin board, via modem and the Internet. The NCJRS Justice Information Centre is accessible via the World Wide Web. In 1995, NIJ began publishing JUSTINFO, an electronic newsletter available on a subscription basis.

National Institute of Justice
c/o National Criminal Justice Reference Service
P.O. Box 600
Rockville, MD 29849-6000, USA


The International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council

ISPAC is a forum for bringing together non-governmental organizations and the professional and scientific community and channelling their combined contributions to the various components of the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programmes. The Advisory Council's objectives also include the promotion of technical assistance in priority areas by pooling the knowledge, expertise and experience available in NGOs and the professional and academic communities. ISPAC was established in 1991, pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding between the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch and the Centro Nazionale di Prevenzione e Difesa Sociale, of Milan, Italy. Among the Advisory Council's major contributions is its work in the area of transnational crime. The council organized the International Conference on Preventing and Controlling Money-Laundering and the Use of the Proceeds of Crime: a Global Approach, held in Courmayeur, Italy, in June 1994 (see Chapter 1). Publications include Mafia Issues, a report on the proceedings of an international symposium organized in 1993 in O, Spain; proceedings of the Courmayeur money-laundering conference; and Migration and Crime, which includes a chapter on the role of crime syndicates in trafficking illegal aliens and laid the groundwork for discussion at a Ninth Crime Congress workshop.

ISPAC has organized meetings and published studies relating to other priority areas identified by ECOSOC: environmental damage and the role of criminal justice systems, elimination of violence against women, crime in urban areas, juvenile criminality, and victims' redress.

The functioning of ISPAC is made possible through the generosity of the Italian Government and the support of the Centro Nazionale, which serves as its secretariat.

The International Scientific and Professional Advisory Council
c/o Centro Nazionale di Prevenzione e Difesa Sociale
3, Piazza Castello
20121 Milano, Italy
Tel.: 39-2-86-46-0714
Fax: 39-2-26-86-4427