Gun trafficking is one of the biggest challenges that modern society is facing nowadays. From North America to the middle east through a large part of south-east Asia many thousands of illegal transactions, involving firearms, are made every day. This plague does not affect only underdeveloped countries such as Cambodia or other states in South America, but also many of the biggest and more influential countries in the wold. Among these there is the most powerful country on earth; the United States of America.
Due to insufficient regulations, poverty and other social issues; this phenomenon has widespread all around the globe with a significant increase of the illicit revenues resulting from these activities.
These illegal trafficking, as well as putting dangerous tools in the hands of criminals with whom they themselves perform heinous crimes, are the main channel of financing for terrorist organizations and drug cartels. These criminal groups, which undoubtedly represent the greatest threat to public safety on a global scale, are the biggest beneficiaries of this “trade of death” that themselves support with thousands of billions of dollars; money that criminals use in order to practice the monstrous acts that they bring forward such as the attack at the Garissa University College, the Paris attacks on November 2015 and so on. Illegal arms trafficking is one of the central themes of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s agenda.
The UNODC has made enormous efforts to curb the problem and has created the “Global Firearms Programme”, with the purpose of assisting the national states in the creation of adequate criminal justice systems to effectively respond to the challenges..
Exactly as proof of the efforts made by UNODC to curb this terrible phenomenon, we can point to the Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, a treaty on anti-arms trafficking including Small Arms and Light Weapons which is supplemental to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.
The Protocol was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly as Resolution 55/255 on May 31st 2001 and entered into force on July 3rd 2005. It was signed by 52 parties and it has 114 parties, including 113 states and the European Union.
As we previously said, this is a very complicated problem that has a number of direct implications in every citizen’s lives .
Thus, solving this problem is extremely tortuous; surely the various UNODC initiatives represent a step in the right direction along with the creation of a serious legislation that limits the possibilities of arms dealers, adopted by the United Kingdom and Japan.