UN treaty against transnational organized crime enters into force

29 September 2003

The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, the first legally binding treaty to fight crime on a worldwide scale, entered into force today, requiring Member States to cooperate on issues ranging from money laundering to human trafficking.

In a world of progressing globalization, organized criminal groups have used the progress in transportation and communication technologies to develop new opportunities for theft, diversion, smuggling and other crimes, including enormous profits from the smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings, the Vienna-based the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said.

The Convention defines a criminal group as three or more people working together to commit one or more serious crimes for material benefit. By ratifying the Convention, Member States – there have been 48 who have done so as of 25 September – make a commitment to adopt a series of crime-control measures, including the criminalization of participation in an organized criminal group, money laundering, corruption, and obstruction of justice. They also pledged help in extradition, mutual legal assistance, administrative and regulatory controls, law-enforcement, victim protection and crime-prevention measures.


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