Criminal Justice Response Against Arms Trafficking

The project under implementation by UNODC's Global Firearms Programme is supporting the six Western Balkans jurisdictions to strengthen their criminal justice response to firearms-related criminality, particularly illicit arms trafficking, by facilitating the harmonization of the national firearms legislation and relevant criminal and procedural law provisions with the UN Firearms Protocol. The project also works with the Western Balkans authorities in strengthening their capacities to detect, investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking and its links to other serious crimes, through improved guidelines and standard operating procedures, specialized training, information exchange, and regional cooperation.

UNODC’s Global Firearms Programme provides support in four of its mandate areas: (i) legislative assistance to apply the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols Thereto (UNTOC) and its Protocol against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition (Firearms Protocol), with a focus on the criminal and criminal procedural law provisions; (ii) support for enhancing the knowledge and skills of law enforcement and prosecutors to detect, investigate and prosecute firearms trafficking cases; (iii) support for collection and analysis of criminal justice data; and (iv) facilitation of international cooperation between criminal justice practitioners.

The project contributes to Roadmap Goals 1, 2, 3 and key performance indicators 1, 3, 8, 9, 10 of the Roadmap for a sustainable solution to the illegal possession, misuse and trafficking of Small Arms and Light Weapons and their ammunition in the Western Balkans.

Budget: US$1,899,999

Implementing period: February 2020 – March 2023

Results achieved as of 31 March 2021:

  • Gaps identified between the criminal codes in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo and the UN Firearm Protocol, providing policymakers and legal experts in each jurisdiction with knowledge on how to harmonize the provisions linked to firearms trafficking with the requirements established under the UN Firearms Protocol.
  • Development of draft criminal provisions in line with the UN Firearms Protocol supported in Albania, and North Macedonia.
  • 70 criminal justice practitioners from the Western Balkans increased their knowledge about available procedures for electronic evidence collection across borders and how to lead an effective investigation and gather admissible e-evidence from service providers.
  • Draft case law collections on firearm-related offences developed in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, serving as a tool for reviewing and harmonizing the court practice.