Section 4 Cooperation in Training and Legal System Development Support in Criminal Justice


UNAFEI (United Nations Asia and Far East Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders) is a U.N. regional training center that was established in 1962, since which it has been jointly operated under an agreement between the government of Japan and the U.N. that involves the sound development of criminal justice systems in various countries, including Asia and the Pacific regions, and strengthened mutual cooperation between the countries concerned through training, research, and surveys on criminal justice.

UNAFEI mainly engages in training professionals in criminal justice in developing countries and conducts international training three times a year (a total of 152 times as of the end of October 2012) and training on corruption control in criminal justice annually in thereby making up-to-date domestic/overseas knowledge that conforms to the theme of the individual training available. In addition to overseas participants from various countries, judges, public prosecutors, correctional officers, and probation officers, etc. from Japan also participate as trainees in the training as it is designed to facilitate mutual understanding and promote experience sharing from the point of view of comparative methods. Different themes are selected every time the international training takes place. The themes selected in recent years include measures against human trafficking, protection and measures to secure cooperation of witnesses, confiscation of crime proceeds and measures against money laundering, measures for use with crime victims, treatment of offenders based on demonstrated grounds, treatment of drug offenders, and social cooperation in treatment of offenders, etc.

In addition, Good Governance seminars have been held every year since 2007 as a new effort that targets multiple countries, while training courses for specific countries and regions have also been provided, including, at present, Training Courses on a Juvenile Delinquent Treatment System for Kenya and those on Criminal Justice for Central Asia.

The importance of support for enhancing the abilities of professionals in criminal justice was recognized in the “G8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Declaration on Capacity Building Assistance” adopted at the G8 Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting held in Tokyo in June 2008, and therefore the roles that UNAFEI plays through providing training, etc. have become increasingly important.

2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of UNAFEI. During this period 4,700 or more criminal justice personnel from 130 countries, including Japan, participated in UNAFEI training/seminars (as of the end of October 2012), with many of them having been promoted to Chief Justices of the Supreme Court, Ministers of Justice, Prosecutor Generals, and other high-ranked officials in their respective countries. The UNAFEI network made a valuable asset to Japan in promoting international cooperation in criminal justice.

Furthermore, UNAFEI also takes part in U.N. crime prevention/criminal justice programs and is invited to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice every year. UNAFEI also cooperates in holding the U.N. Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, and held an official workshop entitled “Strategies and Best Practices against Overcrowding in Correctional Facilities” at the 12th Congress (April 2010).