The topics for discussion on this portal have already been analyzed by multiple actors. In this repository, the GS / OAS brings together some of them, as one more contribution to the discussion. This repository has two sections: In the Policy section, we will integrate information on policies relevant to the issues under discussion that are being implemented by Member States, Observer States and other States of the world. In Studies we will include analyzes, reports and reports published by academic institutions, think tanks, international and multilateral organizations, non-governmental organizations and private entities, all of them of recognized prestige, which are relevant to the conversation. The OAS will publish these articles and reports in their original language.

COVID-19 impact on migrant smuggling and human trafficking

  • 11 June 2020

COVID-19, and measures being taken by countries to control its spread, are impacting crime around the world, including migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

While some of the preventive measures have effectively hindered certain criminal opportunities in the short-term, smugglers and traffickers, as well as their victims, have sought and found ways to overcome them.

Migrant smuggling and human trafficking are particularly affected by geo-political and socio-economic factors which vary greatly by region and in the ways they drive vulnerable communities in those regions to migrate.

COVID-19 measures likely to lead to an increase in migrant smuggling and human trafficking in longer term, UNODC report finds

  • 14 May 2020

COVID-19 travel and movement restrictions are not stopping the movement of people fleeing conflict, human rights abuses, violence and dangerous living conditions, while the economic consequences of the pandemic are likely to lead to an increase in smuggling of migrants and trafficking in person flows from the most affected countries to more affluent destinations, according to a report launched by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) today.

La punta de un nuevo iceberg criminal, por Gastón Schulmeister, Departamento contra la Delincuencia Organizada Transnacional de la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA)

  • 9 May 2020

El crimen organizado está acostumbrado a ajustarse rápidamente a lo que representa un mundo globalizado y cambiante. Un escenario de emergencia como el generado por el COVID-19 está poniendo a prueba una vez más su capacidad de adaptación, por lo que quienes trabajamos por coartar sus capacidades debemos redoblar ahora nuestra vigilancia.

COVID-19 Crisis Putting Human Trafficking Victims at Risk of Further Exploitation, Experts Warn

  • 6 May 2020
COVID-19 Crisis Putting Human Trafficking Victims at Risk of Further Exploitation, Experts Warn

Lockdowns, travel restrictions, resource cutbacks and other measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus are putting victims of human trafficking at risk of further exploitation, while organized crime networks could further profit from the pandemic, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The Invisible Air Force: The Increasing Threat of Drug Flights/ The Strategic Hub for Organised Crime Research (SHOC)

  • 1 May 2020

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on international trade has led to a significant retraction in global commerce. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) estimates that worldwide merchandise trade will fall by up to 32% in 2020. This represents a clear loss to legitimate businesses, but also to organised crime groups (OCGs), who depend on high volumes of global trade to facilitate the illegal trafficking of goods and persons. These criminal networks manipulate the vulnerabilities of licit trade routes, exploiting opportunities to conceal their illegal activity in amongst the high volumes of products and services exchange in an increasingly globalised economy. With the emergence of COVID-19, illicit trade has also been severely affected, especially drug trafficking.

Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Trafficking in Persons. UNODC

  • 29 April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is putting the world under enormous strain, affecting the lives of everyone. The unprecedented measures adopted to flatten the infection curve include enforced quarantine, curfews and lockdowns, travel restrictions, and limitations on economic activities and public life. While at first sight, these enforcement measures and increased police presence at the borders and on the streets seem to dissuade crime, they may also drive it further underground. In trafficking in persons, criminals are adjusting their business models to the ‘new normal’ created by the pandemic, especially through the abuse of modern communications technologies. At the same time, COVID-19 impacts the capacity of state authorities and non-governmental organizations to provide essential services to the victims of this crime. Most importantly, the pandemic has exacerbated and brought to the forefront the systemic and deeply entrenched economic and societal inequalities that are among the root causes of human trafficking.

Smuggling in the Time of Covid-19: The Impact of the Pandemic on Human-Smuggling Dynamics and Migrant-Protection Risks/ Global Initiative

  • 28 April 2020

Efforts to counter the COVID-19 pandemic have seen unprecedented restrictions on movement being imposed in many countries, both at borders and within countries. Some communities and policymakers have adopted increasingly hostile attitudes towards migrants, whom they perceive as contagion risks. Barriers to movement are therefore not only state-imposed but can also be community led.

Crime and Contagion: The impact of a pandemic on organized crime/ Global Initiative

  • 26 March 2020

The fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is having profound impacts on society and the economy, and it will also influence and shape organized crime and illicit markets. The institutional response to the pandemic and the consequent reshaping of socio-economic norms worldwide will affect how criminal networks operate, as well as the nature of law-enforcement responses to them.

The realignment of state resources – in particular police services in responding to the virus – and the role of criminal groups, may have important influences on how such state services and groups evolve in the months to come. Vulnerable groups, such as people who use drugs or victims of human trafficking, may be particularly hard hit by the impact of the virus.

This brief is a result of information garnered from our networks and civil-society partners in the field, and draws from a comprehensive review of reporting on the impact of the coronavirus on criminal groups and illicit markets.