COVID-19: The measures taken by the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime
Montreal, March 27th 2020
The International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC) is concerned about the global pandemic situation linked to COVID-19. In accordance with government directives, all of our normal activities have been adapted to take the necessary precautions and measures to ensure the health and safety of our team and participate in the collective preventive containment effort. Consequently, the ICPC has reduced its staff temporarily, but remains accessible by email. Travel related to forums and other international meetings is suspended until further notice. Finally, the recruitment of research assistants and trainees is currently suspended and postponed to an indefinite date.
Given the gravity of this health crisis, these new government measures have and will have a direct impact on the most vulnerable people in our society. We are already seeing a worldwide increase in hate crimes and racism against certain communities, as well as a significant increase in domestic violence. In addition, social distancing measures make the accessibility and availability of services to victims of violence, or those in situations of marginalization, complex and restrictive. Some organizations, which normally welcome populations at risk, must now close their doors, thus increasing the risk factors for these individuals.
Since its foundation, the mission of the ICPC has been to promote the most promising strategies and practices in the prevention of crime and violence. Mindful of this commitment, we have decided to carry out, over the next few weeks, a monitoring of the challenges raised by the crisis linked to COVID-19. The primary objective will not be to compile the issues raised by this crisis, but rather to inform the various levels of government, civil society and citizens on the initiatives taken around the world to deal with these different issues. We invite you to follow us on social media in the coming days and weeks to find out more.
Finally, to find out about the measures taken by the health authorities of the City of Montreal, the governments of Quebec and Canada and the World Health Organization (WHO), we invite you to consult the resources available here:
We invite you to stay informed and follow the recommendations of the various levels of government.
On October 2nd 2019, the ICPC met with John Brandolino, Director of Treaty affairs for the UNODC, for a 2-hour exchange. During this meeting, Mr. Brandolino stressed the importance of the Institutes of the UN Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (PNI) in aiding the work of the UNODC, especially with regards to information exchange, process and policy formation and the development of sound policy programs. Mr. Brandolino encouraged a strengthening co-operation between the UNODC and the PNI.
The ICPC also took the opportunity to present its ongoing projects and initiatives, reaffirming once more the significance and scope of its contributions to global crime prevention efforts.
It is with great interest that the ICPC participated at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) workshop to develop a set of tools to facilitate the implementation of their Guidelines on Crime and Violence prevention, held in Johannesburg on the 26 and 27 of November 2018. The guidelines themselves mark a bold recognition, by the Members States of the SADC, that crime and violence prevention is a transversal issue requiring the commitment of multiple stakeholders.
In this regard, ICPC is proud to have contributed to the development of these guidelines and to the creation of tools that will facilitate their implementation and would like to congratulate the SADC, the Southern Africa Regional Police Chief’s Cooperation Organisation (SARPCOO) and the African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF) for their leadership in the field of crime and violence prevention in the region.
On 25 and 26 March 2019, the ICPC was invited to share its projects and experiences during the annual OSCE-wide Counter-Terrorism Conference in Bratislava. The main purpose of this international meeting was to take stock of efforts to prevent and combat terrorism as well as violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism in the OSCE area.
During this conference, major aspects were discussed, such as :
– Programmes and approaches that help identify, divert and support individuals at risk of radicalization to terrorist violence such as referral mechanisms and pre-criminal interventions
– Prison-based and non-custodial programmes to rehabilitate and reintegrate terrorist offenders while ensuring due prosecution of their criminal actions
– Advances in international co-operation in countering terrorism and the implementation of good practices in preventing VERLT in the OSCE area
As part of the week dedicated to the prevention of radicalization leading to violence, organized by the Department of Public Safety Canada, the ICPC participated, from March 21 to 23, 2019, in workshops and working meetings of the Canadian Practitioners’ Network for the Prevention of Radicalization and Violent Extremism. The purpose of these workshops is to develop evidence-based guidelines to promote effective intervention in the field.
In order to enrich an international preliminary study on the evaluation of programs to prevent violent radicalization, the ICPC took the opportunity to organize, in parallel with the seminar, a discussion group to gather the views of actors in the field on programs’ evaluation.
The ICPC is now actively involved in sharing experiences and good practices as well as international cooperation on radicalization and violent extremism.