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UN Launches Anti-Kidnapping Manual

With 10,000 People Abducted Yearly, UN Launches Anti-Kidnapping Manual

New York, Apr 26 2006

To protect the estimated 10,000 people kidnapped throughout the world every year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today launched a manual to help States handle the scourge, which often results in the death of victims.

“The purpose of this manual is to save lives,” UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said as he formally presented it to Colombian Attorney General MarioGerman Iguaran Arana during the current session of the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice being held in Vienna, Austria.

UNODC developed the manual to give police officers and policy-makers concrete guidelines on how to respond to kidnappings, building on the contributions of experts from 16 countries and the financial support of the Government of Columbia, where kidnapping of civilians has often been rampant during a long civil conflict.

Identifying different types of kidnapping, including kidnapping for extortion as well as political or ideological purposes, it advises governments on drawing up effective legislation, preventive measures and contingency plans. It also provides practical guidance for senior police investigators, covering subjects such as negotiation, surveillance and intervention options.

UNODC said it has developed a course based on the manual to train experts for countries of the Caribbean and more such training is also planned for Latin America this year.

“This manual is based on good practice identified by experienced practitioners and I am confident it will help to make the global law enforcement response more effective,” Mr. Costa said.

“Kidnapping can have local, national and international dimensions. All countries need coherent national strategies to combat this crime,” he added.


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