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Posted: August 1st, 2022
Proposal for UN on How to Tackle Illicit Flow of People, Drugs and Firearms Cross-Border
Propose a policy recommendation for the US, UN, IGO, or NGO to ameliorate and potentially eliminate your transnational crime group. Make sure your policy recommendation addresses each of the causes and effects of your case study group and who you propose should do them. Be sure to cite sources/facts/statistics/information.
Your paper must be at a minimum of 8-10 pages (the Title and Reference pages do not count towards the minimum limit).
Scholarly and credible references should be used. A good rule of thumb is at least 2 scholarly sources per page of content.
Type in Times New Roman, 12 point and double space.
Students will follow the current APA Style as the sole citation and reference style used in written work submitted as part of coursework.
Points will be deducted for the use of Wikipedia or encyclopedic type sources. It is highly advised to utilize books, peer-reviewed journals, articles, archived documents, etc.
All submissions will be graded using the assignment rubric.
Over the last two centuries, globalization has risen from a meager emerging phenomenon to become one of the major factors that dictate global organization and growth for many countries, states, and kingdoms. It has been very fruitful in defining economic, social, cultural, and political movements worldwide. For the most part, globalization has been a key force of growth and development for societies worldwide. As such, it is referred to as a positive force. However, with every positive development achieved, there is a negative reaction borne out of the various perpetual social inadequacies and injustices brought about through various societies’ historical arrangements.
Transnational crime is one of the key aspects on the rise across the globe enabled through corrupt government officials. According to researchers, too little focus is placed on governments worldwide to handle corruption within their political and economic sectors, which leads to the perpetual existence and growth in transnational crime (Council on Foreign Relations, 2013). This passive attitude by governments increased political turmoil, and general population poverty across the world has been very effective in the growth of transnational crime and their corresponding groups. Albanese (2013) identifies that transnational crime groups account for billions in the world. Council on Foreign Relations (2015) states that transnational crime (TC) accounts for 2% of the world’s gross domestic product, while at the same time costing the global economy about 3.6%. They effectively destabilize many countries and create generations of people who live in poverty and despair.
The transnational crime group’s nature is unique to a specific geopolitical region and encompasses a wide array of ideological, cultural, and political reasons. This implies that generally, most TC is linked to the prevailing political attitudes of the region and its historical background. To adequately understand TCG (transnational crime groups), it is important to understand the key issues that prevail and led to the growth and development of the specific crime. The UNODC (United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime) (2010) identifies an estimated nine major types of transnational crime groups. They include people trafficking, refugee smuggling, illicit trade and movement of firearms, the cross-border drug trade in cocaine, heroin, illicit movement of counterfeit products, maritime piracy, cybercrime, and finally, wildlife and environmental crimes. The following report comprises a proposed policy on how the UN and NGOs could eradicate the transnational illicit flow of drugs, arms, migrants, and refugees worldwide.
Defining the Crime and Its Effects
As already established, the global market formation has had its positive and negative effects on most societies across the world. In the developed world, such as markets in Europe Bordering North Africa and the Middle East, and the US-Mexico border, the effects of the global market’s expansion have brought about the enormous movement of people from the global south. Research indicates that the movement was made possible due to the deregulation of financial systems, removing many bottlenecks that had previously hindered commerce, increased volumes of international transactions, and, more importantly, a depressed economic outlook in most developing countries across the world (NgorNgor, 2014). Lack of accelerated economic growth in most developing regions and growth in the scarcity of resources and avenues for employment has led to political turmoil in countries such as Somalia, Libya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Syria, among others. Statistics show that 85% of all conflicts since the end of the second world war have occurred in developing countries, and in the 1990s supply of arms in these same countries increased with it more intense violence (Southall and O’Hare, 2002). The impending consequences are increased human and property loss.
Corruption and ineffective leadership promote an increase in illicit transnational crime across the world. According to research, most participants in the TOC’s main goal is usually monetary or economic gains, and they will employ a combination of both lawful and illegal activities to perpetuate their existence (US DOJ, 2018). The combination of illegal and legal activities impacts weak governments by increasing corruption and erosion of good public policies, which results in the manifestation of a self-perpetuation of transnational crime. The US DOJ (2018) identifies that with the growth of technology, the illicit groups could work and expand from virtually anywhere in the world. As such, growth and deregulation of the global markets, technology, and increase in poverty and political turmoil across the south work to perpetuate environments necessary for the transnational crime to occur.
The developed countries, too, have a large part to play in cultivating conducive conditions for turmoil and increasing transnational crime groups across the globe. Southall and O’Hare (2002) identify that developed countries create legal loopholes that promote weapons movement into countries that have potential openings for turmoil. The rules are legally evaded in three ways. According to Southall and O’Hare (2002), arm increase in the poor and developing countries is achieved through:
1. When producing in overseas territories, the production of arms in other countries may see them evade the requirements of licenses when it’s a requirement for export.
2. Brokering sales of arms through intermediary countries. This is especially when one country is sanctioned from buying weapons, but they use a third party entity to supply it with the weapons.
3. Exploiting the user in weaker countries where it’s easy to acquire export licenses and subsequent shipments.
The United States particularly has been cited for playing a huge part in perpetuating the great supply of guns and drugs in Mexico. Lindsay-Poland (2018) passive nature of the US government in regulating American arms producers sees most of them exploiting the end-users by selling guns to corrupt governments for other trade-related deals. These similar guns end up in security forces accused of human rights abuses, militant groups, and chaos. According to research, the current climate of social violence and illegal immigration across the south and central America is perpetuated by high demand for drugs in America (Puyana et al., 2017). The drug war in Mexico is especially caused by increased demand in the US, high crime rates, and gang violence. According to researchers, between 21000 and 23000 lives were lost in Mexico due to turf wars between drug groups. At the same time, 40-60% of all cocaine and heroin produced in Mexico were sold in the US bring a toll on law enforcement in the US (Felbab-Brown, 2017). In this regard, the capitalist nature adopted by most developed countries and a need to expand their economic growth at all costs are contributing to increased transnational crime group growth.
Having established the above preconditions that promote transnational crime groups’ growth across the world, the following proposal mainly seeks to outline ways to ameliorate and potentially eliminate Transnational Crime Group.
1. The first and most important factor is introducing an elaborate framework for transnational cooperation across countries on crime reporting. The framework should aim to reveal the extent of the illicit activities by interviewing victims and potential target groups for such groups. The government should also publicly commit to adopting and working with the UNTOC. Structural mechanisms are already in place that compels countries to report on crime. They also compel countries to be more willing to formulate legislative policies and standardize them across these same countries. Council On Foreign Relations (2015) identifies that the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) established legislative standards for all nations to implement a domestic strategy. However, most countries do not have the political will to carry out the UNTOC strategies established. Council On Foreign Relations (2015) identifies that some countries in Eurasia benefit heavily from TOC. This proposal seeks to compel governments that are signatories under the UN to evaluate the transnational crime groups’ impact within their territories. This should be done in an open and democratic process where all the victims are protected and allowed to exercise their freedoms. Countries should commit to implementing the UNTOC. This could be done by strengthening regional, national, subnational institutions to prevent violence and allow more reporting on crime.
2. Governments should commit to finance international institutions such as the UNODC that primarily deals with tracking and regulating crime. This will help reduce money laundering, financing of terror groups, and corruption. For governments to be more willing to work under the already established framework of UNTOC, there is a need for a concerted effort in establishing a task force for funding the UNODC. According to researchers, 91% of the UNODC, the institution within the UN that provides necessary frameworks and implementation capabilities to combat transnational crime groups, is a voluntary contribution and very underfunded since the majority of the UN signatories have not contributed their fair share (Council on Foreign Relations, 2015).
3. There is a need for strengthening national institutions in developing countries to prevent the manifestation of corruption and socio-political turmoil. Countries that are signatories to the UN should commit to enhance international cooperation for capacity building. As already established, corruption and lack of adequate powers by the governments in developing countries work to perpetuate open spaces for these groups to manifest. The phenomenon can be seen in the African Sahel, where Libya, Northern Mali, and Niger’s collapse contributed to the growth of terrorist groups and people smugglers. The DIIS Report 2018, titled Europe and The Sahel –Maghreb Crisis developed due to the failure of Libya and the general Arab Spring Across North Africa, turmoil and separationist movements in Northern Mali also created avenues for the manifestation of Isis and AL Qaeda affiliates (Boserup and Martinez, 2018). This is the same situation in Somalia, Syria, and Iraq, where corrupt regimes increased political crisis that eventually led to conflict. For example, France and Germany have increasingly given a proposal to fund and train these inadequate governments and offer immense support to help eradicate corruption and promote more responsible systems (Boserap and Martinez, 2018). Developed countries should also increase active support to some of the more intense situations of conflict. The Danish Institute of International Studies (DIIS) identifies that the conflict in Mali and Northern Nigeria resulting from Boko-Haram and other terrorist groups directly worked raise levels of immigration in Europe (Bosera and Martinez 2018). By offering unilateral military support to these weaker developing nations, conflicts are reduced. Bosera and Martinez (2018) identify that “French military operations prioritize the destruction of the human and material infrastructure of the jihadists as a means to reduce their capacity and ultimately eliminate them.” This works to help combat the human cost in these nations and support and train governments to be more adept.
4. Sharing information between countries would be necessary for better handling of transnational crime groups. Council on Foreign Relations (2015) identifies that most police units responsible for collecting and sharing information rarely and refuse to communicate the gangs’ names responsible for certain acts. It becomes increasingly important for more organizations to create a central and easily accessible platform where information and practice are registered for other crime-fighting partners to see and monitor. This improves their collective ability to stop crime and monitor criminal activities from a variety of angles.
5. Developed countries should be compelled to initiate sanctions on arms sales. They should also be publicly sanctioned and criticized for their sale of arms through back channels to countries in turmoil. It would be adequate if more developed countries created programs and partnered with developing nations to track and capture illicit weapons in circulation across conflict nations. Such programs have worked before, but lack of initiative to see them through often offer intense blowback. According to researchers, ATF, eTrace, Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA), worked before in reducing the proliferation of weapons across the Latin America, but subsequent governments have curtailed this process (Council on Foreign Relations, 2013). This is because most of the weapons sold in the global south originate from the more developed nations, as highlighted in the previous sections.
Transnational crime groups are on the rise across the globe, thanks to the rise in global trade and connectivity across various nations. There are both legal and illegal actors benefiting and perpetuating the development of the TCGs. The primary goals motivating the TCGs is economic prosperity. There is also a general lack of regulation and information sharing between partner countries. The proposal outlined seeks to commit countries to enhance information sharing, enhance financial support of international and national (domestic actors), and improve cooperation in implementing standardized frameworks. Having a clear look at the potential victim and understanding how well the problem extends. Countries in better positions should also offer more help to developing countries at more risk of civil turmoil. This could be through building their capacity to monitor and regulate their populations and fight to reduce corruption.
Albanese, J. S. (2013). Deciphering the Linkages Between Organized Crime and Transnational
Crime. Journal of International Affairs, Fall/Winter 2012, Vol. 66, No. 1, pages 1-16.
Boserup, R., & Martinez, L. (2018). Europe and The Sahel –Maghreb Crisis. Retrieved 20 October 2020, from Danish Institute for International Studies https://www.sciencespo.fr/ceri/sites/sciencespo.fr.ceri/files/europe-sahel-maghreb.pdf
Council on Foreign Relations. (2013). A Strategy to Reduce Gun Trafficking and Violence in the Americas. Retrieved 20 October 2020, from https://www.cfr.org/report/strategy-reduce-gun-trafficking-and-violence-americas
Council on Foreign Relations. (2015). The Global Regime for Transnational Crime. Retrieved 20 October 2020, from https://www.cfr.org/report/global-regime-transnational-crime
Felbab-Brown, V. (2017). Hooked: Mexico’s violence and U.S. demand for drugs. Retrieved 20 October 2020, from https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2017/05/30/hooked-mexicos-violence-and-u-s-demand-for-drugs/
Lindsay-Poland, J. (2018). How U.S. Guns Sold to Mexico End Up With Security Forces Accused of Crime and Human Rights Abuses. Retrieved 20 October 2020, from https://theintercept.com/2018/04/26/mexico-arms-trade-us-gun-sales/
NgorNgor. (2014). EFFECTIVE METHODS TO COMBAT TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME IN CRIMINAL JUSITICE PROCESSES: THE NIGERIAN PERSPECTIVE. Retrieved 20 October 2020, from TOCTA Report https://www.unafei.or.jp/publications/pdf/RS_No58/No58_16PA_NgorNgor.pdf
Puyana, J., Puyana, J., Rubiano, A., Montenegro, J., Estebanez, G., Sanchez, A., & Vega-Rivera, F. (2017). Drugs, Violence, and Trauma in Mexico and the USA. Medical Principles And Practice, 26(4), 309-315. doi: 10.1159/000471853
Southall, D., & O’Hare, B. (2002). Empty arms: the effect of the arms trade on mothers and children. BMJ, 325(7378), 1457-1461. doi: 10.1136/bmj.325.7378.1457
UNODC. (2010). The Globalization of Crime: A Transnational Organized Crime Threat Assessment. Retrieved 20 October 2020, from https://www.unodc.org/res/cld/bibliography/the-globalization-of-crime-a-transnational-organized-crime-threat-assessment_html/TOCTA_Report_2010_low_res.pdf
US DOJ. (2018). Organized Crime | Federal Bureau of Investigation. Retrieved 20 October 2020, from https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/organized-crime#:~:text=Transnational%20organized%20crime%20(TOC)%20groups,%2C%20influence%2C%20and%20monetary%20gains.
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