Issue: Strengthening measures regarding international security as a way of combating transnational organized crimes

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1 Forum: United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Issue: Strengthening measures regarding international security as a way of combating transnational organized crimes Student Officer: Yin Lett Win Position: Chair Introduction In recent years, transnational organized crime has become a matter of major international concern. Needless to say, a rise in organized crime is a definite threat to international security and world peace. The problem manifests itself throughout the world, such as drug trafficking in Moscow, fraud in the United Kingdom, trafficking of women for prostitution into Italy, and other forms of fraud in the United States and Australia. Transnational organized crime in West Africa has been on the rise, with criminals operating in global illicit markets, sometimes working together with other international criminals. Transnational organized crime takes the form of drug trafficking, people trafficking, fraud, and partaking in other criminal activities. Definition of Key Terms International security Measures taken by states and international organizations to ensure survival and safety in the international community. These measures include military action and diplomatic agreements such as treaties and conventions. Transnational Operating beyond national boundaries or interests Organized Crime Illegal behavior conducted by groups of people in an organized manner, for the purpose of obtaining power, influence, monetary and/or commercial gains Research Report Page 1 of 9

2 Illegal Market It is a market in which goods or services are traded illegally. The key distinction of a black market trade is that the transaction itself is illegal even though the goods or services themselves may or may not be illegal. Mafia An organized international body of criminals, operating originally in Sicily and currently especially in Italy and the US. It includes around 200 Russian groups that operate in nearly 60 countries worldwide. They have been involved in racketeering, fraud, tax evasion, gambling, drug trafficking, arson, robbery, and murder. History Organized crime in West Africa Organized crime in West Africa is perceived to have emerged in the 1970s, a time linked with the rise of oil prices, high inflation, de-linking of the dollar from gold, and the rapid spread of debt in developing countries. After the end of the oil boom in Nigeria, in the early 1980s, Nigerians were driven to spread throughout the region and search for economic opportunity, by any means necessary. According to a Sierra Leonean police source, the Nigerians were the first to introduce organized crime in Sierra Leone. Before the early 1980s, Nigeria had been a magnet for immigrants, especially Ghanaians. There was a development of networks of people with experience of international migration, with some resorting to undertaking criminal activities. As the number of immigrants increased, there was an emergence of crime and violence. Nigeria In Nigeria, elements of the organized crime can be identified before 1975 in the form of organized groups involved in attempts to transfer funds outside the country by over-invoicing, or importing sub-standard goods for delivery to government departments, in return for illicit payments paid to government officials. In the 1980s, there was a flourishing of organized crime in Nigeria. This can be attributed to the corruption of the civilian government of and the introduction of a structural adjustment program in This resulted in a rise in poverty and unemployment, increase in emigration and a poorly regulated financial sector. Poorly regulated financial institutions and banks created new opportunities for money laundering, fraud, and illegal foreign exchange transactions. Corruption became rife and the growth of emigration during the late 1980s led to the creation of a transnational prostitution business. Research Report Page 2 of 9

3 Yangon Model United Nations, 2014 VI Annual Session Ghana In Ghana, organized crime emerged in the 1980s, mainly caused by the problems and opportunities offered by international migration. Ghanaians migrated widely, with the onset of major economic problems in the 1970s, seeking economic and social advancement. When large numbers of Ghanaians were forcibly expelled from Nigeria in 1982, and other foreign job markets became more difficult to enter, more people became attracted to illicit forms of earning money. Caption #1: Map of West Africa Key Issues Corruption Most transnational trafficking requires smuggling, and corruption is an integral part. In poorer states, the highest authorities can quickly become manipulated and bribed by traffickers. If authorities are not compliant, crime groups can implement the removal of problematic officials and support insurgents. Under such circumstances, the officials may give in to the traffickers. Inadequate border controls and inefficiency of law enforcement bodies in regions where there are high levels of unemployment and low salaries create ideal conditions for corruption. An important thing to note is that some important networks, such as Albanian and Kurdish groups, have hierarchical structures, which make them especially hard to infiltrate. Research Report Page 3 of 9

4 Human Trafficking Human trafficking has become a global phenomenon, with victims from about 127 countries detected. According to data reported to UNODC, two-thirds of the victims reported were women, with 79% of the victims subjected to sexual exploitation. The European Union is a major destination for victims of trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation, with at least 95 foreign nationalities represented. With the end of the Cold War, a large number of workers moved from Eastern to Western Europe. Some of these laborers were forced to become sex workers. In , 51% of human trafficking victims in Europe were from the Balkans or the former Soviet Union, in particular, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Republic of Moldova. But this appears to be changing; as women trafficked from other parts of the world are becoming more prominent. There is an estimate of 140,000 trafficking victims in Europe, generating an income of US $3 billion for their exploiters. There is a stable trend of over 70,000 new entries annually. (UNODC, The Globalization of Crime ) Cybercrime With the widespread availability and usage of the Internet, there has been an increase in crimes such as identity theft, transnational trafficking, and child pornography. Although online identity theft is less common than other forms of crime, it appears to be the most prevalent in more economically developed countries (MEDCs), in terms of victims and perpetrators. There is a concern that the rise of the Internet would increase demand for the production and distribution of child pornography to the point that multicrime groups would begin victimizing children for profit. Currently, an increasing share of child pornography is exchanged between peers on a non-commercial basis. Drug trafficking and abuse Certain drugs are prohibited because they cause addiction and lead to serious physical and mental health problems. The impact extends beyond the users, affecting their families and the society at large. It s challenging to accurately measure the number of drug addicts in the world as addicts in developing countries often go uncounted and those in richer nations tend to handle the matter privately. According to the available data in 2007, there are between 172 million and 250 million adults who used illicit drugs. Cocaine and heroin are two of the most trafficked drugs in the world. Cocaine Most of the cocaine users are in North America and Europe, with North America accounting for more than 40% of global cocaine consumption. Research Report Page 4 of 9

5 Heroin More users die from heroin use and are forced to seek treatment for addiction than for any other illicit drug. Users develop both tolerance and physical dependence, requiring more of the drug to produce the same effect and inducing severe withdrawal symptoms if the drug is not taken in. About 90% of the world s heroin comes from opium grown in Afghanistan. Myanmar and Lao PDR are two of the leading heroin producers in Southeast Asia, producing about 50 tons of heroin annually. Caption #3: Global Heroin Consumption Major Parties Involved and Their Views The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime This convention was adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000, and it is the main international tool in the fight against transnational organized crime. It contains three Protocols, which target specific areas of organized crime. States that ratify this convention commit themselves to taking the necessary measures against transnational organized crime, including the creation of domestic criminal offenses, the adoption of new frameworks, mutual legal assistance, and the promotion of technical assistance for upgrading the capacity of national authorities. Research Report Page 5 of 9

6 The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children This protocol was adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 and entered into force on 25 December It is the first global legally binding instrument with an agreed definition on trafficking in persons (UNODC, The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime ). The main purpose is to facilitate cooperation in national approaches for the establishment of domestic criminal offenses that would support international cooperation in investigating trafficking cases. The Protocol seeks to protect the victims of trafficking with full respect for their human rights. The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air This protocol was adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 and entered into force on 28 January It deals with organized crime groups who smuggle migrants. The Protocol developed the official definition of smuggling of migrants. The Protocol aims at preventing and combating the smuggling of migrants while promoting cooperation among parties and protecting the rights of smuggled migrants. The Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition This protocol was adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/255 of 31 May It entered into force on 3 July It aims to promote, facilitate and strengthen cooperation among States Parties to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit manufacturing and trafficking of firearms. Caption #4: The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime Logo Research Report Page 6 of 9

7 White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime The strategy was released by the White House on July 2011, and set out five policy objectives to build, balance, and integrate the tools of American power to combat transnational organized crime and related threats to national security and to urge our foreign partners to do the same. National Guard The National Guard established the CTOC Center of Excellence (COE) to educate and train Combatant Commands, military services, federal agencies, state and law enforcement, and community leaders. The TOC combines investigative resources from several agencies to discover links between local and international crimes. Interpol Interpol is the largest international police organization in the world and is made up of 190 member nations. The agency s biggest priority is to maintain a secure global police information system between the National Central Bureaus of each member nation. It provides support to police and law enforcement agencies of all member nations and assists in the identification of crimes and criminals (Wikipedia, Interpol ). Timeline of Relevant Resolutions, Treaties, and Events Date Description of event Ghana gained independence from colonial rule Nigeria embroiled in civil war after one region of the country had broken away to claim independence Crises of rising oil prices in West African regions. 15 November 2000 September 2002 The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime was adopted. Cote d Ivoire lapsed into war. Research Report Page 7 of 9

8 Resolution 2005/22 to promote crime prevention by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) 2008 Resolution 2008/24 Strengthening prevention of urban crime: an integrated approach July 2011 The White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime was released. Evaluation of Previous Attempts to Resolve the Issue In the 2005 Resolution 2005/22 to promote crime prevention by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the committee requested UNODC to achieve a balanced approach between crime prevention, criminal justice responses, and to further develop initiatives on crime prevention. In 2008, ECOSOC, in its Resolution 2008/24 Strengthening prevention of urban crime: an integrated approach, encouraged member states to integrate crime prevention considerations into all relevant social and economic policies and programs in order to effectively address the conditions in which crime and violence can emerge (UNODC, Crime Prevention ). Currently, the main instrument for fighting transnational organized crime (TOC) is the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). It was finalized in 2000 in Palermo, Italy and defined a TC group as a structured organization with three or more members and establishes legislative standards for nations to implement. However, the convention has a limited ability to inform and influence operational practices. Possible Solutions To combat transnational organized crimes, international cooperation is undeniably needed. For drug trafficking to cease to exist, there needs to be a comprehensive approach that aims to tackle the sources of global drug production and anti-drug trafficking efforts must be exercised in a stricter manner. Corruption is a major component of the transnational organized crime, and therefore, countries governments and legal systems should aim to improve their transparency and increase fines for corrupt practices. For those people with drug abuse problems, there is an increasing need for drug rehabilitation programs and support. There needs to be more governmental efforts to implement drug rehabilitation programs and anti-drug campaigns, especially in LEDCs. The international community needs to have Research Report Page 8 of 9

9 multiple meetings to discuss possible solutions and reevaluate their anti-trafficking policies. There needs to be an increased global awareness on the dangers of transnational organized crimes, which can be implemented by educating the public. Bibliography ATUOBI, Samuel Mondays. "Corruption and State Instability in West Africa: An Examination of Policy Options." KAIPTC. Web. 29 Jan < Papers/Documents/no_21.aspx>. "Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime: Definition." The White House. The White House. Web. 29 Jan < "Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime." The White House. The White House. Web. 29 Jan < "Transnational Organized Crime: Let's Put Them out of Business." Transnational Organized Crime: The Globalized Illegal Economy. Web. 29 Jan < "Transnational Organized Crime in the West African Region." Transnational Crime West Africa Web. 29 Jan < "Transnational Threats to International Peace and Security." France ONU. Web. 29 Jan < "Transnational Organized Crime." (2009). Web. 3 Feb < "Transnational Organized Crime in the West African Region." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 03 Feb < "International Security." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 28 Jan < "United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime." Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. Web. 03 Feb < Research Report Page 9 of 9

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