High-Level Segment of the 14th United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice – National Statement by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs

Published: 11 March 2021

1.    Thank you, Mr President.


2.    Singapore would like to thank Japan for hosting the Congress under the present challenging circumstances.


3.    We appreciate Ambassador Takeshi Hikihara and his team for leading the discussions on the Kyoto Declaration, which will guide global efforts in combating transnational crime for the next five years.


Singapore’s Approach to Crime Prevention 

4.    Singapore’s approach to tackling transnational crime is underpinned by our strong emphasis on the rule of law, criminal justice measures and effective implementation of crime prevention policies.


5.    We have tough laws against crime, highly professional law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies, as well as an independent and effective judiciary. 


6.    Our approach has yielded positive outcomes.  


    a.    The overall crime rate, as well as incidence of drug abuse remain low. 


    b.    The Gallup 2020 Global Law and Order Report ranked Singapore first on public perceptions of law and order, for seven consecutive years.


International Cooperation

7.    Singapore recognises that regional and international cooperation are key to tackling transnational organised crime.


8.    We therefore support the role of the CCPCJ and collaborate with the UNODC as well as strategic partners from the global law enforcement community, such as INTERPOL.


9.    We are an active voice at the FATF, as it sets standards for an effective response to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing.


Rehabilitation and Reintegration

10.    Singapore invests heavily to rehabilitate offenders. We also work closely with the community to help ex-offenders reintegrate into society. 

11.    Psychology-based correctional programmes aim to address offenders’ criminogenic risks and needs. They can also participate in family support programmes, employability skills training and further education.  


12.    Singapore’s throughcare rehabilitation efforts have kept our recidivism rate low and stable. About 8 out of 10 inmates who were released in 2018 stayed out of prison in the first 2 years of release.[1]   


13.    We look forward to sharing more on our rehabilitation efforts at the ancillary meeting later today.



14.    Mr President, despite these extraordinary times, we must continue to coordinate and intensify crime prevention efforts, nationally, regionally and globally.


15.    We are confident that this Congress will achieve its objectives under your able leadership and the efforts of the UNODC. 


16.    Together, we can protect our societies from the scourge of crime and ensure that ‘crime does not pay’. Thank you.

[1] Recidivism rate is defined as the percentage of local offenders under the custody of the Singapore Prison Service, who were subsequently detained or sentenced to imprisonment or day reporting order within two years of release into the community. This definition has been applied to the 2018 release cohort onwards.