United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)

The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) is an important institute under the United Nations. Such international bodies and programmes are very relevant for the UPSC exam. In this article, you can read all about the UNICRI, its functioning, mandate, objectives and India’s relations with it.

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The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) is an autonomous institute under the United Nations engaged in action-oriented research and training, and technical cooperation programs in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.

  • UNICRI seeks to aid governments and the international community at large in dealing with criminal threats to social peace, development and political stability and in promoting the development of efficient and just criminal justice systems.
  • It works under the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network framework.
  • It is one of the five research & training institutes under the United Nations system.
  • It was formed in 1968 as the United Nations Social Defense Research Institute (UNSDRI).
  • It was renamed to its current name in 1989 with an expanded mandate.
  • It works in close collaboration with other UN agencies and bodies, particularly with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
  • It is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of experts from different countries. This Board reports to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which is the UNICRI’s parent organisation.
  • It is a part of the United Nations Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).
  • The institute is headed by a Director.

UNICRI - UPSC Prelims Facts

UNICRI Activities

The UNICRI primarily engages in research and training in the domain of crime and justice.

  • Its goals are:
    • advancing understanding of crime-related problems;
    • fostering just & efficient criminal justice systems;
    • supporting the respect of international instruments and other standards; and
    • facilitating international law enforcement cooperation & judicial assistance.
  • The institute supports the formulation & implementation of better policies in the field of criminal justice and crime prevention.
  • It also supports national self-reliance and institutional capacities development.
  • It enables the exchange and spread of information, cooperation in international law enforcement and judicial assistance, and sharing of best practices in this field.
  • Its activities and programmes are guided by the priorities set by the UN Annual Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Commission.

The following table shows the priority areas of the UNICRI:

Artificial intelligence and robotics Chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear risks mitigation Illicit trafficking in precious metals and gemstones
Environmental crimes Integrity of the supply chain Tourism and major events security
Violent extremism (including rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders) Domestic violence Protection of vulnerable population and victims
Juvenile justice International criminal law


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