Organized crime manifests itself in various forms and activities, ranging from traditional types of criminal organizations to transnational criminal networks. The illicit trafficking and misuse of firearms is intrinsically linked to these criminal organizations and networks as facilitators of violent crimes, as tools to perpetrate power, as lucrative trafficking commodities, that fuels armed conflicts, crime and insecurity, which has dramatic consequences. Oftentimes, different forms of criminality are intertwined, such as human, firearms and drugs trafficking.
The problems associated with firearms violence covers the whole spectrum of human security: ranging from high levels of individual physical insecurity (domestic violence and street, gang and criminal violence) with serious economic and social consequences for the society at large, to large scale armed conflicts in which these arms enable widespread violence and account for the majority of deaths. The problems associated with criminality and firearms are of such a complex nature, that curtailing them requires tailored interventions involving corresponding criminal justice responses in terms prevention, investigation and prosecution of crimes.
In this context, UNODC Global Firearms Programme was created to assist states in building adequate criminal justice systems to effectively respond to the challenges posed by organized criminality specifically related to trafficking in firearms its parts and components.