Source: (2003) Vienna, Austria: United Nations, Economic and Social Council Secretary-General.

The constituencies represented in this report include Member States, United Nations entities, other intergovernmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and institutes. Information on initiatives and applications of United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice in various countries and regions encompasses penal reform, the administration of juvenile justice, missing children and the sexual abuse and exploitation of children, restorative justice, and crime prevention. In the area of penal reform, United Nations standards and norms have focused on improving prison conditions, reducing prison overcrowding, and increasing reliance on alternatives to imprisonment. Regarding the administration of juvenile justice, U.N. standards and norms have addressed juvenile crime prevention, the strengthening of juvenile justice systems, improvement in the rehabilitation and treatment of juvenile offenders, and improvement in the protection of child victims. Standards and norms regarding missing children and sexual abuse and exploitation of children have focused on action to promote cooperation with civil society in addressing these problems, measures against child prostitution, and time limits for penal proceedings. For each of the areas covered by the standards and norms, this report summarizes the responses regarding initiatives to implement the standards in member countries and by various organizations. Overall, the information provided indicates that changes and reforms have been introduced in legal systems in many parts of the world in an effort to upgrade and strengthen the capacity of criminal justice systems according to the criteria of U.N. standards and norms. Abstract courtesry of National Criminal Justice Reference Service, www.ncjrs.org.