PUTTING THE BAD GUYS OUT OF BUSINESS
New UNODC Campaigns Takes Aim at Drugs, Organized Crime
The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime launched a new awareness campaign on Monday, designed to illustrate the cost and consequence of the illegal drug trade and related industries.
“Transnational organized crime reaches into every region, and every country across the world,” UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov announced in a prepared statement. “Stopping this transnational threat represents one of the international community's greatest global challenges.”
UNODC’s slogan for this campaign focuses on the corporate nature of the drug trade, suggesting “Transnational Organized Crime: Let’s put them out of business.”
Part of this new campaign was a video released on Monday, dramatizing the route that money takes after a drug purchase and all of the illicit industries that this money supports. From sex trafficking to counterfeiting to illegal arms purchases, the video, which begins with a seemingly innocuous 20 euro purchase, illustrates just how detrimental buying illegal drugs is, and how these business rely on casual users for their billions.
UNODC puts the global annual turnover on the drug trade at a whopping $870 billion, or 1.5 percent of global GDP, making it by far the most lucrative form of business for criminals. Drug money also is used to support human trafficking outfits, which victimize some 2.4 million individuals each year.
As staggering as the monetary values attached to the drug trade are UNODC suggests that these value are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the human consequences of organized crime. It is impossible to get a clear picture of just how many lives are lost to drugs and other illegal operations each year, or just how much economic growth is stifled due to violence and lost business opportunities stemming from drug-related activities.
Mr. Fedotov hopes that this campaign will be a step in the right direction for solving the drug crisis and ending the sprawling lawlessness that accompanies it.
“Crucial to our success is our ability to raise public awareness and generate understanding among key decision and policy makers,” he noted. “I hope that the media will use UNODC's campaign to highlight exactly how criminals undermine societies and cause suffering and pain to individuals and communities.”