- Adoption of the Organized Crime Convention
- Historical context: why Palermo?
- Features of the Organized Crime Convention
- The protocols
- Related international instruments
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
- Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
Published in May 2018.
Regional Perspective: Eastern and Southern Africa - added in April 2020
This module is a resource for lecturers
Research and independent study questions
a) On 12 July 2017, UNODC Chief, Yury Fedotov, welcomed Japan's decision to become a party of both the Organized Crime Convention and the Convention against Corruption. Japan became a party to the two Conventions as well as the Protocols on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, on 11 July 2017. Given that the Organized Crime Convention was signed in 2000, collecting support from 187 States parties by 2016, what legal and other factors may have precluded the Japanese Government from joining the Conventions at an earlier stage?
b) Compare the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988), the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations against Corruption. Discuss the similarities among these conventions and how they contribute to the formation of a global regime against organized crime. Discuss some limitations and recommend amendments to these Conventions which could help achieve the Conventions' stated goals more efficiently.
c) In 2013, the Council on Foreign Relations of the United States heavily criticized the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Here is an excerpt from the critique:
UNTOC does not adequately account for the increasingly activity-based, horizontal structure of criminal syndicates or the growing nexus between organized crime and terrorism, corruption, conflict, public health, global finance, and modern technology. The struggle to implement the convention reflects a certain dearth of global political will to do so. In a number of major world powers, the state itself is captured - or partly captured - by organized crime.
Write an essay in response to this statement, in which you support or refute the position presented in the excerpt. Make sure to elaborate on the concept of political will and discuss how States (or international community) can compel a non-cooperating State to act in the way that benefits all.
d) Evaluate the global fight against transnational organized crime. Discuss how the global anti-organized crime regime, in part constituted by the United Nations Drug Conventions and the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, has facilitated international cooperation.