Legal & regulatory frameworks

UNCTAD: E-Commerce and Law Reform Programme – Developing legal frameworks to build trust


For e-commerce to succeed and spur development gains it must be trusted by both buyers and sellers of online goods and services. This well-established programme helps you develop the most appropriate legal, institutional and policy frameworks to build confidence in e-commerce.

The wide range of areas covered includes consumer protection, cybersecurity, intellectual property and electronic signatures. Ultimately, the aim is to help you build a legal environment that promotes secure online business and economic wellbeing.

For whom

Policy makers
Law makers
Legal professionals

Services offered

Building Skills
  • Learn how to draft legal frameworks through online and face-to-face training sessions, organized by region and by country
  • Exchange and learn about e-commerce legislation harmonization through regional training activities
Policy Support
  • Gain access to expert reviews and inventories of e-commerce legislation
  • Get help assessing, revising and drafting legal and regulatory frameworks
  • Participate in validation round tables with national stakeholders to discuss and finalize draft legal frameworks
  • Get expert advice for parliamentarians on enacting effective laws

Meet the beneficiaries

A harmonized framework for cyberlaws

Since its beginnings, E-Commerce and Law Reform has introduced the legal dimension of ICTs to:


LDCs worldwide


developing countries in Africa


developing countries in Asia


developing countries in Latin America & the Caribbean

Under the programme’s guidance, the East African Community became the first African region to adopt a harmonized framework for cyberlaws.

Through its services, the programme has also helped bring about the following:

6 laws, acts or bills

revised in 3 countries between 2014 and 2016

6 regional reviews

published about e-commerce legislation harmonization

500 participants

at Expert Group Meetings on cyberlaws and data protection in 2015 & 2016

« The workshop was an invaluable opportunity to exchange experiences and discuss key issues on commerce and cyberlaw harmonization. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and I am confident the knowledge gained will help us develop an enabling environment for the regional ICT sector. »
Ms. Angela Sinaswee-Gervais

Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Administration, Trinidad and Tobago

The first online tool for a global mapping of cyberlaws

The UNCTAD Global Cyberlaw Tracker, allows you to map laws on e-transactions, cybercrime, data protection and online consumer protection. It helps you to know where you stand thanks to Comparative Regional Reviews – and plan your next steps accordingly.

Check here to know where you stand!


To discover more about cybercrime challenges, you can watch this video


External evaluation requested by the Government of Finland (2011)


UNCTAD –  Towards e-commerce legal harmonization in the Caribbean