India: Government ratifies two UN Conventions related to transnational organized crime and corruption

In May 2011, the Indian Government ratified two UN Conventions - the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and its three protocols.

Having ratified both Conventions, India became the fourth South Asian country after Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka to ratify the UNTOC while joining Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in ratifying the UNCAC. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated by its Member States to assist in the implementation of both Conventions, which along with the UN Drug Conventions of 1961, 1971 and 1988 underpin all the operational work of UNODC.

TheĀ UNTOC was adopted by General Assembly in 2000 and came into force in 2003. The Convention is the first comprehensive and global legally binding instrument to fight transnational organized crime. States that have ratified UNTOC commit themselves to taking a series of measures to prevent and control transnational organized crime, including (i) the criminalising of the participation in an organized criminal group, of money laundering, related corruption and obstruction of justice and (ii) the adoption of frameworks for extradition, mutual legal assistance and international cooperation.

The UNTOC is further supplemented by three Protocols, which target specific forms of organized crime:

1) The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, provides an agreed upon definition of trafficking in persons. It aims at comprehensively addressing trafficking in persons through the so-called three P's - Prosecution of perpetrators, Protection of victims and Prevention of trafficking.

2) The Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, also provides a definition of smuggling of migrants. The Protocol aims at preventing and controlling smuggling of migrants, promoting cooperation among States Parties, while protecting the rights of smuggled migrants.

3) The Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition promotes, facilitates and strengthens cooperation among States Parties in order to prevent and control the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition by mainly committing Member States to introduce solid registration and storage systems for all legally produced arms.

The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which entered into force in December 2005, is the ever-first binding global anti-corruption instrument. It obliges the States to prevent and criminalize different corrupt practices, promote international cooperation, cooperate for the recovery of stolen assets and enhance technical assistance and information exchange. The Convention addresses both the public and private spheres and provides a set of comprehensive agreed-upon obligations and provisions to criminalize corruption and enhance transparency and accountability. In order to monitor the progress in the implementation of the Convention, Member States have agreed to conduct "peer-review mechanisms" among themselves, for which UNODC acts as a Secretariat.

Read the press release by the Indian Government regarding the ratification of the UNTOC and the UNCAC

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