United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime
The United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC, also called the Palermo Convention) is a 2000 United Nations-sponsored multilateral treaty against transnational organized crime.
Signed and ratified or acceded
|Type||Organized crime; international criminal law|
|Drafted||15 November 2000|
|Signed||12 December 2000|
|Effective||29 September 2003|
|Depositary||Secretary-General of the United Nations|
|Languages||Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish|
The Convention came into force on 29 September 2003. According to Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo, the convention was the first international convention to fight transnational organized crime, trafficking of human beings, and terrorism.
In 2017, as Japan prepared the organization of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, it faced the issue of not being fully compliant with the UNTOC, thus jeopardizing its eligibility to organize those events.
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
- Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.
- Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing and Trafficking in Firearms.
All four of these instruments contain elements of the current international law on human trafficking, arms trafficking and money laundering. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) acts as custodian of the UNTOC and its protocols.
The UNTOC is the main legal international instrument to fight organized crime, but its efficiency depends on each member's ability to implement the organization's framework. As an example, the UNTOC requires a minimum sentence of four years imprisonment for transnational organised criminal offences.
As of 19 September 2017, it has 190 parties, which includes 185 United Nations member states, the Cook Islands, the Holy See, Niue, the State of Palestine, and the European Union. The nine UN member states that are not party to the Convention are (* indicates that the state has signed but not ratified the Convention):
In June 2018, the Iranian Parliament approved the bill to join UNTOC, but 10 days later Khamenei called the bill «unacceptable» and blocked its progress. In January 2019, the bill was still being debated between the Parliament and the Guardian Council.
- India signs the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC), Mea.gov.in, 23 December 2002 (accessed on 18 August 2019)
- Loredana Pianta, Researchers simulate mafia and terrorism recruitment, Phys.org, 25 July 2019 (accessed on 30 July 2019)
- >Wildlife trafficking to become a ‘serious crime’ under UNTOC, Worldecr.com, 20 February 2014 (accessed on 18 August 2019)
- Tshepo Mongwa, Botswana Makes Progress, Allafrica.com, 12 September 2018 (accessed on 18 August 2019)
- Japan and an Anti-Crime Bill, Nytimes.com, 1 June 2017 (accessed on 18 August 2019)
- Afghanistan: UN mission welcomes new penal code, urges measures to protect women from violence, Un.org, 22 February 2018 (accessed on 18 August 2019)
- "UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION AGAINST TRANSNATIONAL ORGANIZED CRIME AND THE PROTOCOLS THERETO" (PDF). UNITED NATIONS OFFICE ON DRUGS AND CRIME. 2004. p. V. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- Laura Adal, Organised crime in Africa / Weak laws make tackling organised crime harder, Enactafrica.org, 8 November 2018 (accessed on 18 August 2019)
- Carina Bruwer, Lions, tigers and bears: Wildlife trafficking in the age of globalisation, Dailymaverick.co.za, 20 February 2019 (accessed on 18 August 2019)
- UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime: Treaty status
- Palermo Bills Suspended, Radiofarda.com, 25 Juily 2018 (accessed on 30 July 2019)
- Iran's Watchdog Rejects Bills To Join U.N. Crime Conventions, Radiofarda.com, 15 July 2018 (accessed on 30 July 2019)
- Iran Postpones Approval Of UN Convention Against Transnational Crime, Radiofarda.com, 19 January 2019 (accessed on 30 July 2019)
- UNODC site.
- Text of convention and protocols.
- Signatures and ratifications.
- Procedural history, related documents, photos and videos on the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crimes (with protocols) in the Historic Archives of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law