UNLIREC strengthens national capacities to combat illicit firearms trafficking in the Caribbean

Activity description

As part of its Caribbean assistance package, UNLIREC undertook three national 'Specialized Training Course on Combating the Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives for Legal Practitioners: Combating Impunity in Illicit Trafficking of Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives (STC)', in Guyana, Belize and the Dominican Republic, with the purpose of providing technical and practical knowledge and legal tools to assist legal practitioners in their efforts to combat illicit trafficking in firearms, ammunition and explosives. Approximately 68 legal practitioners and law enforcement authorities were trained with the objective of strengthening coordination, communication and cooperation in this area. The courses highlighted how proper handling of the crime scene, respect for chain of custody, inter-institutional and international cooperation, and a suitable legal framework constitute essential elements in reducing impunity and combating illicit firearms trafficking. UNLIREC also undertook several ‘Inter-Institutional Training Courses for Combating Illicit Firearms Trafficking (IITC)’. The courses aimed at strengthening the capacities of law enforcement officials in combating illicit firearms trafficking at the national and sub-regional levels. These courses were delivered, at the national level, in Jamaica, Belize, Suriname, Dominican Republic and Trinidad and Tobago. At the sub-regional level, the course was delivered to all CARICOM Member States and it was held in Trinidad and Tobago. Approximately 301 regional law enforcement officials received training to enhance their practical knowledge and skills immediately applicable to their professional responsibilities to combat illicit firearms trafficking such as classification of firearms and ammunition, modalities of illicit firearms trafficking, national regulations, criminal and administrative procedures, intelligence and investigation techniques, as well as correct crime scene management and the chain of custody of evidence. Also, as part of this project, UNLIREC conducted a roundtable on maritime security entitled ‘Combating Illicit Trafficking in Small Arms and Light Weapons through Strengthened Border Controls’ in Trinidad and Tobago. A previous roundtable on maritime security was held in Peru in 2011. In addition, a training module on 'Combating Illicit Firearms Trafficking in Maritime Border Security Contexts' was developed, along with a discussion on a paper entitled 'Small Arms Control and Maritime Border Security in Latin America and the Caribbean: Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives at Sea'. Lastly, the UNLIREC provided legal assistance to all CARICOM States with a view of accelerating national review and reform processes to modernize the national firearms acts and other related legislation and ensure compatibility with international firearms instruments. In order to offer content-specific guidelines, UNLIREC undertook 3 policy and legal assistance initiatives and carried out 10 national comparative legal studies. It was expected that legal assistance and reforms would enhance and strengthen State capacities to fully and efficiently implement the obligations enshrined in international disarmament and non-proliferation agreements.

Project description

UNLIREC’s Firearms Destruction and Stockpile Management Caribbean Assistance Package supports Caribbean States to implement key measures called for in the UN 2001 Programme of Action on Small Arms on combating illicit firearms trafficking and preventing armed violence. The assistance package paid particular attention to promoting sound stockpile management practices and the regular destruction of surplus, obsolete, and confiscated weapons, ammunition and explosives. As part of this project, UNLIREC donated firearms and ammunition destruction and stockpile management equipment and trained law enforcement officials in various weapons and ammunition destruction methods to ensure sustainability. Finally, the Centre also provided specialized training courses for legal practitioners and law enforcement officials on combating the illicit trafficking in firearms, as well as legal assistance in aligning national regulations to international agreements.

Type of Activity
Institutional capacity-building
Legal or legislative assistance
Technical material or financial assistance
Focus of Activity
Small arms and light weapons (SALW) controls
Antigua and Barbuda
Dominican Republic
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC)
Contact Details

United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean
Address: Complejo Javier Pérez de Cuellar Av. Pérez Aranibar 750 Magdalena del Mar – Lima 17, Perú
Phone: +51 1 6259114
Fax: +51 1 6259100
Email: information@unlirec.org
Website: http://unlirec.org/