UNODC launches the Guidelines on Investigation and Prosecution of Firearms Offences

26 May 2023, Vienna, Austria: The UNODC´s Global Firearms Programme (GFP) presented its Guidelines on Investigation and Prosecution of Firearms Offences during a side event held at the 32nd Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ). Attended by 50 criminal justice practitioners and diplomats, the event aimed to contribute to international efforts in tackling the complexities associated with illicit firearms trafficking.

The panelists shared insights on the challenges involved in investigating and prosecuting firearms-related crimes and offered perspectives on the potential of the Guidelines to promote standardized approaches and best practices globally. The panel discussion addressed various challenges faced by the criminal justice community, including legislative gaps, the need for specialized expertise among practitioners, the overshadowing of illicit firearms trafficking by other primary offenses, such as drug trafficking and violent crimes, and the importance of strengthening inter-institutional and international cooperation.  

Acknowledging the utility of the Guidelines, the panelists highlighted the importance of promoting legislative harmonization, facilitating the exchange of case law and best investigative practices, and supporting capacity-building activities for investigators and prosecutors based on the principles outlined in the Guidelines.

The launch of the Guidelines represents an important step towards a coordinated and comprehensive global response to the challenges posed by illicit firearms trafficking and associated crimes. UNODC GFP's commitment to addressing the concerns faced by law enforcement agencies worldwide ensures that the Guidelines will play a significant role in facilitating effective investigations and prosecutions of firearms offences, ultimately contributing to enhanced public safety and the reduction of armed violence on a global scale.

The side event can be watched here