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Browsing by Author "Väänänen, Suvi"

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  • Väänänen, Suvi (2020)
    On 15 November 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the Palermo Convention). The United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 was used as a model. Drug-related crime had been long controlled with severe punishments and developed control mechanisms, but also there was already quite good knowledge on how drug-related organized criminals operate - despite the drug industry’s fast growth that was ever so difficult to slow down. Drug-related crime was part of the discussions as one type of transnational organized crime when the talks of the Convention began, and it was part of the first drafts of the Convention. Ultimately, the Palermo Convention lacks any mentioning of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs. However, what sparked the elaboration of the Palermo Convention was a growing need for international regulation concerning traffic in persons, and especially to protect women and children from abuse and effects of organized crime. Traffic in persons was perceived to be quite profitable for example due to minor risks compared to possible financial gains from drug trafficking which has however much higher risks for severe punishments and then confiscation. Also, women and children were seen to be the most vulnerable groups for exploitation and in urgent need for protection. This thesis focuses on firstly to recognize the reasons why illicit traffic in narcotic drugs was omitted from the text of the Palermo Convention and secondly on transnational organized crime, especially drug-related crime. This latter research aims to put the Palermo Convention in a larger context. There was an urgent need for this new comprehensive convention on organized crime and its elaboration was a speedy process. In this thesis I study the whole elaboration of the Palermo Convention in the sense of what types of questions were raised during the elaboration of it, and how these questions may have affected the question of illicit drug trafficking as part of the Convention. The research regarding the omitting of drug-related crime from the Palermo Convention’s text after its first drafts is done based on the Travaux Préparatoires, that is the preparatory work of the Convention and its Protocols, and other preparatory materials and official documents that were formed during the Convention’s elaboration. In the study on drug-related crime and transnational organized crime from a wider perspective, related literature is used. Ultimately, there is not enough support to conclude that particularly illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, as the form of crime appeared in the first drafts of the Convention, wanted to be left out of the Convention. Some main themes that had an impact in the omission of illicit traffic in narcotic drugs are the scope and comprehensiveness of the Convention, removing a designated list of offences from the Convention and the urgency and speediness of the negotiations. More important and pervasive provisions against transnational organized crime in general were articles on criminalization of participation to organized criminal group’s activity, articles on money-laundering and corruption. These crimes can take place in link to other crimes like trafficking narcotic drugs and human trafficking. Targeting against the “business” activity, those things that keep facilitating a criminal group’s business, is most likely more efficient in the fight against transnational organized crime.