Organized crime thrives worldwide, affecting governance and political processes, and weakening the advancement of the rule of law. It encompasses, inter alia, illicit trafficking of firearms, drugs, protected species, cultural property, or falsified medical products and, among its most severe manifestations, human trafficking and the smuggling of migrants. It also includes the laundering of proceeds of crime and obstruction of justice. Moreover, with all forms of organized crime shifting ever more to being dependent on or incorporating online aspects, including the use of virtual assets, its reach and capability of harm is increasing.
Organized criminal groups are flexible in changing or expanding their illicit businesses for profit. They misuse vulnerabilities and crisis situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturns, natural disasters, and armed conflicts exploiting them for their own purposes.
Traditional, territorial-based criminal groups have evolved or have been partially replaced by smaller and more flexible networks with branches across several jurisdictions. Criminal actors, witnesses, victims and proceeds of crime may be located in many different States. It is therefore evident, that joint efforts from States across the world are required as organized crime cannot be tackled in isolation.
The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime is applicable to all forms of serious crime of transnational nature committed by organized criminal groups. More than two decades after its adoption it is among the most ratified international legal instruments. Together with its three Protocols it remains the primary global tool to prevent and address a broad range of criminal activities effectively.
Find out more about our activities on countering all forms of organized crime. Read the news»
The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, adopted by General Assembly resolution 55/25 of 15 November 2000, is the main international instrument in the fight against transnational organized crime. Read more»
Regular sessions of the Conference, Working Groups, information gathering under the Organized Crime Convention, as well as background and practical information. Read more»
Established in 2018 by resolution 9/1 to further strengthen States' implementation of UNTOC and of its three Protocols, the UNTOC Review Mechanism is a peer review process whereby two States parties review another State party’s status of implementation of UNTOC and its Protocols. Read more»
The implementation of UNTOC is mainly supported by the Global Programme on Implementing the Organized Crime Convention: from Theory to Practice that assists States in building stronger normative and policy responses to transnational organized crime in order to enhance the implementation of UNTOC. The Programme also supports international cooperation in criminal matters to prevent and fight organized crime. Read more»
Find out more on our work on countering Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants, Illicit Manufacturing and Trafficking in Firearms, Cybercrime and Money Laundering. Read more»
Find out more about the Organized Crime and Illicit Trafficking Branch of UNODC. Read more»
In order to enhance the knowledge base available for Member States to develop effective international responses to transnational organized crime threats, UNODC has produced a series of legal and technical tools and publications. Read more»