United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

The United Nations on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is a global leader in the fight against illicit drugs, transnational organized crime, terrorism, and corruption, and is the custodian of most of the related conventions, particularly the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its 3 protocols (Trafficking in Persons; Smuggling of Migrants; and Trafficking in Firearms)

The International Drug Control Conventions

The Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners UNODC was established in 1997, combining the United Nations Centre for International Crime Prevention and the United Nations International Drug Control Programme to focus and enhance capacity to address the interrelated issues of drug control, crime, and international terrorism in all its forms. UNODC has a number of field and regional offices to deliver technical assistance to Member States.

In Southern Africa, UNODC is based in Pretoria and covers 11 countries including Swaziland. Under the present Strategic Programme Framework, UNODC Southern Africa’s programme of work is structured around six key objectives, all with the aim of assisting countries in achieving security and justice against drugs, crime and terrorism:

  1. Strengthening legislative and judicial capacity of countries for the ratification and implementation of international conventions and instruments on drug control, organized crime, corruption, terrorism and money laundering.
  2. Assisting countries in reducing illicit drug trafficking and in the control of precursor chemicals.
  3. Enhancing the capacity of Government institutions and civil society organizations in the region to prevent drug use and related HIV infections amongst the youth and other vulnerable populations, particularly within prison settings.
  4. Enhancing the capacity of Government institutions and civil society organizations to counter trafficking of persons, smuggling of migrants and trafficking in organs.
  5. Creating awareness about, and reducing domestic violence in co-operation with civil society and Governments.
  6. To Promote Victim Empowerment by improving coordination, building capacity and strengthening relations between government and civil society in order to improve services to victims, especially women and children.

Within this framework, UNODC in Swaziland has a Programme Office implementing on project and a component of a regional programme.

HIV and AIDS in Prison Setting

As a co-sponsor of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), UNODC is the lead agency in the UNAIDS family for HIV and AIDS prevention focussing on two of the most-at-risk populations, namely; Injecting Drug Users (IDUs) and prison setting including prisoners and prison staff. UNODC is also a facilitating agency for issues pertaining to People Vulnerable to Human Trafficking (PVHT).


UNODC is currently running a Swaziland-based anti-corruption programme entitled “Strengthening of Legal, Institutional and Operational Capacities to Implement the Provisions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.”