Tackling the illicit manufacturing of and illicit trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition requires a strong criminal justice response that includes effective enforcement in order to bring illicit traffickers and criminal organizations that benefit to justice. However, in many countries the criminal justice response is significantly hampered by:
- Inefficient information gathering systems and the lack of capacities to analyse and cross refer existing and open-sourced data on arms transfers;
- Insufficient resources and lacking will to create specialised hubs focusing on firearms trafficking as a criminal offence;
- Legislative loopholes and lacking criminalisation of illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms and related offences.
- Weak investigation capacities relating to these forms of offences;
- Insufficient information and intelligence sharing even among countries of the same region, as well as between manufacturing, importing and transit countries;
- A lack of application of special investigative techniques and other measures provided by UNTOC;
- The lack of a critical number of criminal justice practitioners with the required specialized skills to lead national efforts to prevent, detect, investigate, prosecute and adjudicate cases of arms trafficking and illicit manufacturing of firearms;
-Weak capacity to undertake risk assessments and profiling of potential trafficking cargoes.
To address these challenges, actions cannot be taken in isolation, but require a holistic approach. This encompasses strengthening the capacity of the criminal justice system to detect, investigate and prosecute firearms criminality, and making effective use of mechanisms of international law, including enforcement cooperation and information exchange.
In this context, the GFP works on the development and dissemination of comprehensive training curricula and tools as well as the delivery of specialized training courses for criminal justice practitioners to strengthen the investigative and prosecutorial capacity to detect and address complex and domestic and transnational cases of firearms trafficking and their links to organized crime and terrorist activities.
Through the design and delivery of the training courses, UNODC also seeks to promote south-south cooperation among countries and to partner with relevant actors on the ground, such as the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), international and regional organizations, and civil society organizations. The aim of these joint ventures is to contribute to the dissemination and promotion of the active use of existing tools and cooperation channels, such as INTERPOL's iARMS initiative, as well as to address important cross-cutting themes [hyperlink to cross-cutting themes] such as the human rights dimension of criminal investigation and prosecution of complex crimes.