UNODC Research Team to Focus on Evidence of Transnational Organized Crimes at this Week’s Conference

© UNIS Vienna/Nikoleta Haffar

Vienna (Austria), 13 October 2020 – Wildlife crime, drug trafficking and the trafficking of falsified medical products are just some of the crimes that will be addressed at the 10th Session of the Conference of the State Parties (CoP) to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).

The 2020 session of the conference will take place from 12 through 16 October 2020, and most of the events will be accessible to the public via webcast.

The Research and Trend Analysis Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has been actively involved in the organization of several specialized side events, placing a spotlight on the organization’s latest findings on matters of transnational organized crime.  

The following events are co-sponsored by the Research branch, will take place virtually, and are also open to the public:

Organized Crime and the Trafficking of Falsified Medical Products
Wednesday, 14 October 2020, 11:00 – 11:50 CEST
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One of the highlights at this year’s UNTOC-COP session series will be the virtual event on falsified medical products, set up in partnership with the UNODC Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch and the Government of Belgium.

“Health and lives are at risk with criminals exploiting the COVID-19 crisis to cash in on public anxiety and increased demand for PPE and medications,” said UNODC Executive Director Ghada Waly in a recent statement, in light of a noted increase of falsified medical products seized during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The discussion will be moderated by UNODC Senior Expert on organized crime, Karen Kramer, and feature statements by Xiumei Wang, Professor of Law from the Beijing Normal University, and Angela Me, Chief of the Research and Trend Analysis Branch at UNODC and other panellists. Together, they will reflect on recent seizures detected in developed and developing countries as well as trends in trafficked items. The discussion will also bring to the fore regulatory and legal frameworks set to prevent the manufacturing and trafficking of falsified medical products.

More on the topic: “COVID-19-related Trafficking of Falsified Medical Products as a Threat to Public Health”.


The Impact of COVID on Organized Crime
Thursday, 15 October 2020,11:00-11:50 CEST
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This virtual event will focus on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on organized crime. Governments around the world have instituted lockdown measures to contain the virus. Yet these measures which have served to protect the population, have also given way to an economic recession. Experts will review in general how organized crime groups may try to infiltrate struggling firms –many now unable to access enough public funds to keep them afloat– by offering loans on the illicit market. The event will also address broader topics within organized crime, such as possible new scenarios for smuggling of migrants and cross-border trafficking in persons in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Migrant Smuggling in West and North Africa: Latest Findings from the UN Observatory on Smuggling of Migrants
Thursday, 15 October 2020, 14:00-14:50 CEST
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Member States and other participants will learn about the work of the UN Observatory on Smuggling of Migrants. Experts will share the latest findings from the Observatory’s research on Africa and the Mediterranean, outline migration routes, and explain how States use this information to inform policymaking.
The event is organized together with the Government of Denmark and the Permanent Mission of Italy to UNODC.

Social Harm of Organized Crime on Communities and Regions
Thursday, 15 October 2020, 15:00-15:50 CEST
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This virtual event is organized in partnership with the International Association for Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges (IAAI), LIBERA and the World Society of Victimology.


Illicit Financial Flows from Illegal Activities: First Estimates from Latin America
Friday, 16 October 2020, 14:00-14:50 CEST
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The virtual meeting is organized together with the UNODC Centre of Excellence for Statistical Information on Government, Crime, Victimization and Justice. As co-custodian of the SDG indicator on Illicit Financial Flows, UNODC has led the work on the development of common statistical definitions and methods for the measurement of different types of illicit financial flows. The event will showcase the outcomes to inform the measurement of illicit financial flows and will feature practical examples from illegal markets located in Latin America.