United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) | IAS Target IAS Target

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime is a United Nations office that was created in 1997 as the Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention by combining the United Nations International Drug Control Program (UNDCP) and the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Division in the United Nations Office at Vienna. It is a member of the United Nations Development and was renamed the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2002. The latest report released by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says that India is one of the major hubs of illegal drug trade ranging from age-old cannabis to newer prescription drugs like tramadol, and designer drugs like methamphetamine.

Headquarter Vienna (Austria)
Two liaison offices Brussels and in New York City
UNODC incorporates the secretariat of the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)
  • World wildlife crime report
  • World drug report
  • Global report of trafficking in persons
21 field offices


Addressing a coordinated, comprehensive response to the interrelated issues of illicit trafficking in and abuse of drugs, crime prevention and criminal justice, apolitical corruption, and international terrorism
These goals are pursued through three primary functions:
  • research,
  • guidance
  • support to governments in the adoption and implementation of various crime, drug, terrorism, and corruption-related conventions, treaties and protocols, as well as technical/ financial assistance to said governments to face their respective situations and challenges in these fields.
The office aims long-term to better equip governments to handle the drug, crime, terrorism, and corruption-related issues, to maximize knowledge on these issues among governmental institutions and agencies.

Source of funding

  • Voluntary contributions (around 90%)
  • Rest from governments.

Main themes that UNODC deals with:

Alternative Development, anti-corruption, Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling, Criminal Justice, Prison Reform and Crime Prevention, Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care, HIV and AIDS, Money Laundering, Organized Crime, Piracy, Terrorism Prevention.

Important treaties

  • Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961)
  • United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.
  • United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
  • United Nations Convention against Corruption

UNODC report about India

While the global trend of purchasing drugs over the internet, particularly on darknet trading platforms using cryptocurrencies has already spread across South Asia, it is particularly rampant in India. India is also a transit country for illicitly produced opiates, in particular heroin. The route used by traffickers to smuggle opiates through South Asia is an alternative part of the so-called “southern route” which runs through Pakistan or the Islamic Republic of Iran, via the Gulf countries, continues to East Africa and on to destination countries. Also, India, Australia, France, and Turkey accounted for 83% of the global production of morphine-rich opiate raw materials in 2017.