UNESCO works in partnership with non-governmental organizations specialized in the protection of the cultural heritage.
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is regularly called upon by UNESCO for all matters relating to museums, including: the development of inventories, the establishment of ethical guidelines (The Code of Ethics for Museums) and the publication of Red Lists. The development of these specific activities contributes to the overall implementation of the programme on the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural property. For this reason, ICOM is regularly invited to participate in training workshops organized and funded by UNESCO.
ICOM has also launched an International Observatory on Illicit Traffic in Cultural Goods, a collaborative platform designed to provide information and resources to all concerned parties.
The international council on museum and sites (ICOMOS) works for the conservation and protection of cultural heritage places. It is the only global non-government organization of this kind, which is dedicated to promoting the application of theory, methodology, and scientific techniques to the conservation of the architectural and archaeological heritage. Its work is based on the principles enshrined in the 1964 International Charter on the Conservation and Restoration of Monuments and Sites.