This module is a resource for lecturers  


Additional teaching tools


In drafting this Module, every effort was made to identify resources written by diverse scholars, by women working in academia, and by organizations aiming to raise concerns on the gendered consequences of organized crime. This does not justify the absence of scholarship from some countries/regions, and we do acknowledge that more and diverse experiences could be included to enrich the content of the material. We encourage lecturers to contact the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative to submit cases and literature that are relevant to the topic of gender and organized crime in countries not mentioned in this Module, with a view to promote the work of other authors that also deserve to be recognized and known globally. 

Online portals

  • The UNODC SHERLOC (Sharing Electronic Resources and Laws On Crime) knowledge management portal was developed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to facilitate the dissemination of information regarding the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its three Protocols.
  • Beyond Trafficking and Slavery has put together an eight-volume series aimed at providing an empirically-based framework to understand human trafficking. It contains perspectives from organizations, practitioners and individuals from around the world working to better understand labour practices that thrive on global inequality and economic systems. Beyond Trafficking and Slavery 2018. Short Course. Vol. I-VIII.
  • CENCOS (Centro Nacional de Comunicación Social) is a media organization which has as its goal to showcase the experiences faced by people whose stories are not typically showcased on mass media. Their reporting has focused on cases involving gender-based discrimination, the forced disappearances of activists, and corruption. Their coverage on the impact of drug trafficking policy in the form of gender-based discrimination includes a video of Kenya Cuevas, a renowned activist in Mexico City who spent time in prison for a drug trafficking offence.
  • The criminalization of human smuggling and its impact on women. A policy brief from the Migrant Smuggling Observatory of the Migration Policy Centre summarizes the ways the criminalization of migration impacts women and their families.
  • New Directions on Research on Human Trafficking is a special issue of The American Academy of Political and Social Science. It contains articles from authors who provide new empirical insights into sex trafficking, sex work, labour trafficking, and the impact of migration regimes on the emergence of these crimes in Cambodia, Bangladesh, Argentina, West Africa, Eastern Europe, and the United States.
  • The Human Smugglers Roundtable , editions I and II, compiles a series of frequently asked questions about human smuggling. Scholars, practitioners and activists from around the world, drawing from their expertise and knowledge, provide answers and context to one of the most pressing forms of contemporary organized crime.
  • The International Drug Policy Consortium groups organizations from around the world seeking to promote an open and objective debate on drug policy.
  • The Marshall Project is an independent news organization. It posts stories by and on people in detention in the United States, with the hope of creating awareness about the lives and experiences of those within the criminal justice system.
  • The Open Society Foundation prepared the report "The Impact of Drug Policy on Women". As the incarceration levels of women for drug trafficking outpace those of men, research and data that reveal the gender implications of drug trafficking criminalization are needed. This report provides a summary of how drug laws and policies pose a burden on women around the world. 
  • Why are so many First Nations, Inuit and Metis Women and Girls Criminalized? This handout from the Native Women's Association of Canada gives some background on the growing numbers of women and girls of indigenous origin who are entering the criminal justice system in Canada.
  • WOLA (Washington Office on Latin America) put together a photo essay to showcase the experiences of women serving reduced sentences for having admitted their involvement in the drug market. Their stories were chosen because they are representative of the profiles often seen in women incarcerated across the hemisphere.
  • Women Speak Out: understanding women who inject drugs in Indonesia is a report by the Indonesian Drug User Networks developed to better understand the experiences of women who inject drugs and to inform evidence-based responses that can mitigate the impacts of drug use and HIV and AIDS.

Videos and documentaries

  • Barrio de Paz : how do women organize in Ecuador to prevent gang-related violence? This documentary from Global Oneness Project tells the story of Nelsa and her activism in the streets of Guayaquil on behalf of gang-affiliated youth. Available from Global Oneness Project website: [Duration: 17min.]
  • Becky's Story : A documentary film by Sine Plambechon the life ofBecky, a 26-year-old Nigerian woman who wants to go to Europe. She already tried twice. The first time she was stopped with fake documents at the airport in Nigeria by immigration authorities. This made her decide to begin a deadly journey through the Sahara Desert hoping to embark on a migration boat bound for Italy. The film is about migration, sex work and human trafficking seen from the perspective of Becky. Through interviews with Becky and sequences of everyday life, we can sense the feelings of limbo and immobility that permeate her life. [Duration: 24min.]
  • Devil's Freedom is a documentary from Everardo Gonzalez, a Mexican filmmaker, that presents a new perspective on organized crime-related violence in Mexico. It showcases the testimonies of people (victims and perpetrators of violence) who appear on camera wearing special masks with openings for their eyes and mouth - large enough to preserve their anonymity, but without concealing their individuality. Traumatic experiences are discussed by the victims or their relatives, but also by those who committed kidnappings, murders and torture. The film does not seek to explain the violence, only to share the experiences of those who have suffered it.
  • EQUIS: Justicia para las Mujeres is a feminist think-tank that seeks to develop policy to counter gender-based discrimination and gender-based violence in Latin America. In coordination with the Washington Office for Latin America, Equis has released a series of publications related to the war on drugs and the impact of drug trafficking criminalization on women, including those who are of indigenous origin. Their website also includes a series of short documentaries on the experiences of women in detention for drug trafficking and drug trafficking related offenses.
  • El Velador (The Watchman) is a documentary by Mexican filmmaker Natalia Almada, on the everyday life of a man who works at Jardines del Humaya, a cemetery in Mexico's northern state of Sinaloa. For decades, Sinaloa has dealt with drug trafficking related violence. The leading cause of death for young males in the state is homicide, and points at the dynamics of drug trafficking in Mexico as a whole. Classroom clip available online. [Duration: 27min.]
  • Paola Ovalle is a Mexican researcher who has explored the community and individual responses to organized crime-related violence on the US-Mexico border. Her website includes videos showcasing the efforts carried out by families to celebrate the lives of their loved ones, often victims of still unresolved forced disappearances and kidnappings. The videos are in Spanish with subtitles in English.
  • What were you wearing? - Tracey Ullman's Show: Season 2 Episode 6 Preview - BBC One. A video that challenges the pervasive culture that blames survivors of crime. [Duration: 1.54min]


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