Greetings. You are cordially invited to attend and take active part in the XVIII World Congress of Criminology to be held in the New Delhi Capital Region, India from 15 (arrival) to 19 (departure) December, 2016. The event will take place on the campus of O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana. The World Congress of Criminology is the foremost criminology event that brings together the best academics, researchers, professionals and policy makers to discuss the most relevant and current issues related to crime and deviance and their prevention under the aegis of the International Society of Criminology. The International Society of Criminology (ISC) was founded in Rome, Italy in 1937. Its objective is to promote activities and research designed to produce a better understanding of the crime phenomenon on an international scale. The Society promotes the prevention of crime and improving the procedures used by the various criminal justice systems. Its activities, therefore, focus both on scientific and practical issues.

The International Society for Criminology is a non-governmental organization with nearly one thousand members, all at senior levels (scholars, judges, criminal justice administrators, etc.). The Society enjoys advisory status at the United Nations and the Council of Europe, and participates in UNESCO’s work. While until now it has been primarily the responsibility of individual states to prevent and control crime, growing globalization underlines the importance of closer international cooperation in criminological research and intervention to improve society's response to the current challenges of crime. A great deal of energy and imagination is being invested for research on modern forms of crime prevention and control because it is essential to be able to guarantee the stability of societies and ensure the protection of individuals the world over.

The contribution to this research made by international organizations is particularly valuable. The International Society of Criminology is one of the most active and influential scholarly associations at the forefront in addressing the challenges and problems posed by crime and deviance and in finding solutions that also fully respect human rights and democratic values.

The World Congresses of Criminology have been held under the auspices of the International Society of Criminology, since the Rome, Italy Congress of 1938. In this century, Congresses were held in Rio de Janeiro (2003), Philadelphia (2005), Barcelona (2008), Kobe, Japan (2011) and Monterrey NL, Mexico (2014). All were successful, heavily attended, and well covered by the media.

The theme of the XVIII Congress to be held in New Delhi, India is:

Urbanization, Globalization, Development & Crime: Opportunities & Challenges of the XXI Century

Other themes deemed to be of special importance and relevance are:

-   Extremism, Terrorism & Warfare: Mass Violence and its Impact on Society

-   The Victimization of Vulnerable Populations: Crimes Against Women, Children, The Elderly & Minorities

-   The Politics of Crime: The Role of Crime and Terrorism in National & International Decisions & Interventions

The main theme, especially, takes into account some of the most serious and cogent problems facing our societies these days. Continuously increasing urbanization is one of the major trends taking place in the world. It has been estimated that, by 2030, over 70% of the world population will be living in cities.

Based on this unrelenting migration to the city, urban communities worldwide have certain common characteristics, not always positive:

-   a heterogeneity of cultures with concomitant differences in beliefs and behaviors;

-   segmentation and various differences between groups, with relationships between persons restricted to specific needs and services;

-   increased mobility, impersonality and anonymity;

-   people who vary greatly in age, race, ethnicity, level of education, norms and values, and

-   haphazard growth with wide disparities between more established and affluent neighborhoods and precarious, crowded and poorly served slums.

These are predisposing factors that breed urban fragmentation, conflict, insecurity, deviance and criminality.

In many parts of the world, rapid urbanization, industrialization and migration to the cities are major factors that contribute to higher crime rates in urban centers. Uncontrolled migration has led to the proliferation of slums, squatter areas and sidewalk shops. In many major cities worldwide large percentages of the population are squatters. The urban poor are also beset with the high cost of living, financial difficulties, unstable jobs, lack of capital, limited educational opportunities, inadequate health and sanitation, and shortage of housing. This is exacerbated by conflicts, war and instability in so many parts of the world.

The spread of gangs involved in various criminal activities and violence, especially in urban areas, is a major concern for many countries, especially since it has become internationalized.

Trafficking in drugs, people, animals and other goods is a major phenomenon of our times, facilitated, ironically, by technological and electronic innovations that have made travel, moving people around the globe, transferring funds internationally, and communicating instantaneously relatively easy, inexpensive, and difficult to detect. Insecurity is a foremost concern for millions of citizens in several countries who face on a daily basis the threat of crime, violence, kidnapping, sexual and other assault, break-ins and theft of their valuables. Thousands are at times forced to move to other parts of a city or even country in order to avoid victimization.

In light of these problems and challenges, countries worldwide must come up with measures to counter and/or prevent them. The best way to minimize crime is to prevent it in the first instance or, better yet, to eliminate the conditions and root causes that help it flourish.

The 2016 Congress will provide a platform for learning, debating and attempting to address these cogent challenges and serious problems affecting our world today from an international perspective.

The Congress welcomes different forms of presentations, from the traditional “paper” to roundtables, author meets critics, literary and artistic expressions, community meetings, posters, workshops and more. We want the Congress to be a dynamic, high energy, creative event that offers high quality scholarly and research material, data, and insights along with more concrete, practical, solution-oriented debates and collaborations.

We also invite the community and non-governmental organizations to be present and active at the Congress, taking part in scholarly sessions and learning from top experts and scholars, engaging them in discussion, conversation and debate; sharing their own live knowledge of the reality of crime and violence; and striving to collaboratively formulate pragmatic policies for effective intervention and prevention.

We especially welcome youth, their enthusiasm, daring, creativity and innovation.

In those three days of December 2016, we want to live, work, and experience a unique event that we will ourselves create, sustain and experience through our own efforts, sharing, openness to others, and understanding. It is our firm intention that the Congress will not be a static point, marking the passing of time since the preceding one, but a point of departure for the beginning of a major effort and a sustained campaign to make our world more just, safe and secure for all.

You are cordially invited to take part in this dynamic and forceful event that will join together intellectual insight, rigorous research findings, and streetwise understanding into an unbreakable commitment and a powerful movement to address crime and deviance in a sustained and resolute way, worldwide.

I take this opportunity to thank all those who are giving their unstinting support to the XVIII World Congress and make it possible in India. In particular I want to acknowledge the support of and thank the Vice-Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University, Professor C. Raj Kumar, Professor Sanjeev P. Sahni, Principal Director, Jindal Institute of Behavioral Sciences, and Dr. Manjushree Palit, Deputy Director, Center for Victimology & Psychological Studies and many more for their generous support. Thank you!

This website has been designed to greatly facilitate your active participation in the Congress. The deadline for submission of proposals is 1 October 2016. Presenters must be registered by 15 October 2016 to be listed in the program. We look forward to meeting and working with you in the New Delhi Region! Thank you in advance for your participation and support!

Emilio C. VIANO
Program Chair; President, International Society of Criminology

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