Capacity-building and awareness-raising on the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property in West Africa


Dakar, Senegal, 17-19 September 2012
West Africa, especially the Sahel, is facing a renewed threat of illicit trafficking of cultural property. The current situation in Mali has significantly increased the danger, and UNESCO is concerned about the cultural heritage of the country, particularly in the northern part of Mali.

1st South-American meeting of officials specialized in the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural property


Buenos Aires, Argentina, 29-31 October 2012
A series of workshops is organized for the training of police units from a number of Latin American countries in the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural property, in particular as regards its normative, conceptual, legal, police and cooperation aspects.

Building capacities for the fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property in South-East Europe

© "The Gypsy Girl" mosaic of Zeugma, from Gaziantep Museum of Archeology

Gaziantep, Turkey, 19-21 November 2012
This regional workshop is organized within the framework of UNESCO's new global initiative "Culture: a Bridge to Development" to build capacities in South-East Europe. It aims at sharing information on existing international legislation in the field, in particular UNESCO's Conventions of 1970 and 1954 and the UNIDROIT Convention. Special modules will be dedicated to national systems of protection of cultural heritage so as to encourage cooperation at national, regional and international levels and modalities of return and restitution including a training on the use of legal and operational tools.

Building capacities and raising awareness on the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural objects


Lima, Peru, 23-25 October 2012
The seminar, with a particular focus on the Central America and Andean region aims at reducing the endemic problem of illegal excavations, the black market in archaeological artifacts and the illegal export of religious, pre-Columbian and baroque cultural property in the region.

Workshop on prevention and fight against illicit traffic of cultural goods in Southern Africa

© Thato Moahi

Gaborone, Botswana, 5-9 November 2012
The workshop is a follow-up to the strategic way forward established by the Southern African Member States during the meeting hosted by Namibia in September 2011. It aims in particular at creating an effective platform for addressing issues of illicit traffic through sharing of information on missing objects and encouraging collaborative efforts in the collection, documentation and exhibition of retrieved heritage artefacts.

Regional Seminar on the Fight against Illicit Trafficking in Cultural Property for the Caribbean


Saint-Lucia, 3-5 December 2012
The project is targeted towards the Caribbean sub-region and aims to create and develop national legal and operational capacities to fight against the illicit traffic in cultural property and facilitate its restitution through targeted legal and operational trainings and awareness-raising activities with the support of institutions such as INTERPOL and UNIDROIT.

Training workshops for the implementation of the 1970 Convention

Emergency Fund

In order to answer the specific and pressing expectations formulated by a number of countries regarding a better implementation of the 1970 Convention in the field and in view of the need for training to ensure a more efficient fight against the illicit traffic of cultural property, the Secretariat benefits, upon decision of the Director-General, of a financial support from UNESCO's Emergency Fund.

Priority regions

The first regions benefitting from these workshops are:


These capacity-building workshops aim at providing the professionals at local level, with the help of international and national experts, with all available practical and legal tools and information regarding the fight against the illicit traffic of cultural property. They can also acquire the necessary knowledge so as to become themselves trainers at the local level and create networks between heritage managers, decision-makers, police units, customs, media and local population.

Training contents

Emergency Fund - On-line donation

The purpose of the Emergency Fund is to mobilize resources and to deliver Priority Programmes and Reform Initiatives in the Regular programme approved by all UNESCO’s Member States. 

It has also set up  an online-donation facility for donations from private individuals.