Protection and empowerment of vulnerable groups
Preventing Crime through the Protection and Empowerment of Vulnerable Groups
UNICRI works to achieve a context-based understanding of challenges and gaps at the institutional and community levels for the early-identification and empowerment of people considered at risk of becoming offenders or victims of crime. Special attention is given to those segments of the population more exposed to violence, abuse and exploitation, such as minors, women and people from marginalized communities, especially in developing, transitioning and post-conflict areas.
Reinforced networks and strengthened cooperation mechanisms among the stakeholders (state institutions, public and private services, law enforcement agencies, civil society, etc.) are expected to provide rapid intervention in high-risk situations, ensuring the protection of human rights and gender-sensitive approaches.
UNICRI acts to enhance capacities of key actors within government institutions and communities to reduce factors that influence an individual's likelihood of committing a crime (social exclusion, discrimination, lack of education, unemployment, etc.) and to reinforce individual and societal resilience through community-based programs promoting positive social values and development, and empowering youth. For those already in conflict with the law, UNICRI works to enhance capacities of key actors within the judicial and social systems, to provide rapid intervention and promote the implementation of alternative measures and diversion programs for offenders with specific needs, such as juvenile offenders, facilitating their social reintegration and preventing recidivism.
UNICRI also supports governments in strengthening the capacity of policy makers, professionals working in the public and private sectors, as well as civil society and communities at large, in preventing drug use and providing responses in the overall treatment, recovery and rehabilitation for drug addiction, while considering the challenges posed by gender issues, cultural and religious diversity. UNICRI’s work in this field aims to enhance institutional capabilities, promote professional knowledge-sharing and facilitate the establishment of an integrated and comprehensive system of interventions, which represents the basis for planning and ensuring continuity of care, improving clinical management, and facilitating access to services. All these are critical factors in the framework of crime prevention strategies and interventions.
The main outcomes of UNICRI's interventions are:
- Established context-based pathways and improved mechanisms for promoting and delivering crime prevention initiatives targeted to vulnerable populations, reducing risk factors and promoting positive change.
- Enhanced capacities of key actors in reaching at-risk individuals and populations through early intervention programs to prevent crime and victimization.
- Improved coordination and participation of civil society groups in efforts to protect vulnerable groups and promote peaceful and inclusive societies.