United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, UNICRI

Justice is now! Seize the day, seize the assets!


Agency Overview

UNICRI’s mission is to to advance understanding of crime-related problems, to foster just and efficient criminal justice systems, to support the respect of international instruments and other standards, to facilitate international law enforcement cooperation and judicial assistance. UNICRI headquarters are in Turin (Italy), however the Institute is represented by several offices globally, for example in Algiers, Brussels, Geneva, Manila, Nairobi, New York, Rabat, Rome, Tashkent, Tbilisi, and The Hague.

Key Areas of Work

In line with UNICRI Strategic Programme Framework 2023 – 2026, the Institute’s five strategic priorities are:

  • Preventing and countering transnational security threats, terrorism, and points of nexus;
  • Countering criminal enterprises, illicit financial flows, and corrupt practices;
  • Promoting rule of law and safeguarding access to justice;
  • Promoting responsible use of new and emerging technologies to address crime and exploitation; and
  • Preventing and countering violent extremism and radicalization. 

Among other activities, UNICRI provides highly specialised post graduate education programmes on its campus in Turin (Italy), as well as online; it delivers training on, for example prevention, detections and responses of threats in relation to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) material, as well as on responsible use of Artificial Intelligence.

UNICRI’s office based in Brussels, provides highly-specialized technical assistance to States worldwide to improve mechanisms for the tracing, seizure and confiscation of assets linked to high-level corruption and organized crime, and contributes to the countering of criminal enterprises, illicit financial flows, and corrupt practices. UNICRI’s Brussels office works closely with a number of international (and national) partners, including, for example UNODC, the Camden Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network (CARIN) and Transparency International.

Impact and Results

In Brussels, UNICRI works on actual pending asset recovery cases that involve, for example, financial assets (bank accounts and virtual currencies), real estate, aircraft, gold and diamonds, as well as stolen cultural assets. Technical support includes expert advice on all the phases of the asset recovery cycle, including on transparent management and distribution of recovered assets to high-priority development needs (such as to the health, education or infrastructure sectors). UNICRI’s asset recovery work also focuses on assisting countries in adopting non-conviction-based forfeiture mechanisms, such as civil confiscation, to further accelerate the recovery of illicitly-acquired assets.

As of mid 2023, UNICRI’s asset recovery team has, through EU-funded projects, assisted countries in the tracing and/or recovery of some USD 60 billion, much of which has been linked to acts of corruption. UNICRI has also assisted countries in the return of key cultural assets, such as 2,000+ year-old artefacts; for more information on this, please click on the following links:

Return of 2000 ancient cultural artefacts to Tripoli, March 2022 (UNICRI)


Address: UN House, Boulevard du Régent 37-40, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Official Website
Reach us at: [email protected]

UNICRI HQ: Viale Maestri del Lavoro, 10, 10127 Turin, Italy
Tel.: (+39) 011 6537 111, [email protected]

Additional Information

UNICRI operates thanks to the generosity of a number of Member States and other donors (international and regional organizations, charities, foundations etc.), including in particular funding from the European Union; UNICRI’s work is entirely financed from voluntary contributions and it does not receive any funding from the regular budget of the United Nations. UNICRI welcomes the much-valued support of its donors, and thanks them for their ongoing interest in seeing that “crime does not pay”.