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UN urges integrated approach to halt transnational organized crime

The UN's top anti-crime official on Monday urged [press release] an integrated international response to target transnational crime syndicates which seek to avoid prosecution by moving to a new country when faced with increased law enforcement pressure. UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) [official website] Executive Director Yury Fedotov [official profile] said during a conference of parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime that, "the 'era of displacement' should be ended ... and interconnected cooperation, coordination and communication were needed against" such crimes. The Convention is the primary weapon for countries to deal with transnational organized crimes, and the conference makes the countries united to promote their capacity to cope with such crimes. In the conference, civil society was mentioned as indispensable especially in countries where the legal system and institutions were vulnerable. The cost of transnational organized crime is estimated to be $870 billion [JURIST report], but Fedotov noted it would be impossible to "calculate the misery and suffering caused to millions of people by ... those illegal activities such as women and children trafficked for sex, developing countries devastated by illegal logging, and family and friends lost to illicit drugs." Fedotov suggested that countries work together to share information and initiate creative, proactive policies in an integrated manner to address the problem.

Transnational organized crime has been a problem affecting countries around the world. In July, when announcing its $870 billion estimate, the UNODC launched its global awareness-raising campaign [campaign website] with the purpose of informing the public about the economic costs and human impact associated with the threat transnational organized criminal networks were creating. In February UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official profile] called [JURIST report] for an increase in efforts to address transnational organized crime, drug trafficking and piracy in West Africa. In June 2010 the UNODC released a report revealing the globalization of organized crime [JURIST report] and its threat to international security. Afghanistan and Colombia were found to be the major suppliers of the majority of the world's illegal drugs, but the profits were primarily found where the drugs were sold. During the same month, the US State Department (DOS) [official website] stated [JURIST report] that US complies with international regulations but still faces serious problem with human trafficking.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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