UNODC Global Firearms Programme Legislative reviews of the firearms legislation and related criminal and procedural revisions to enhance compliance with international instruments in Barbados, Guyana, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago
As part of the project “Supporting the implementation of the crime prevention and criminal justice component of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap”, the UNODC Global Firearms Programme (GFP) conducted legislative assessments in four Caribbean countries (Barbados, Guyana, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago) from 1 May 2021 to 25 April 2022. The aim was to review the compliance of national legislation with international and regional arms control and organized crime instruments (Firearms Protocol, UNTOC, ATT, PoA, ITI, CIFTA) as well as the effectiveness of the national frameworks to prevent and combat firearms trafficking and related crimes.
The Guyana assessment was followed by a legislative workshop to discuss the findings of the assessment. The three-day workshop led to the conclusion that the Guyanese Firearms Act is outdated and requires revision. The Ministry of Home Affairs and the Attorney General agreed to cooperate with the GFP to redraft the Act and accompanying regulation. A drafting committee was established, it agreed on the structure of the draft law proposed by the GFP and currently works on the rolling text of the Draft Bill. The first draft will be discussed with national authorities as well as representatives from civil society organisations, academia and the private sector in an upcoming inter-institutional drafting workshop. Guyana plans to table the Firearms Act in the first half of 2022.
The activity was part of the project “Supporting the implementation of the crime prevention and criminal justice component of the Caribbean Firearms Roadmap”, aimed to prevent and counter illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms and their links to transnational organised crime and other serious crimes, and ultimately to address the scourges of armed violence in the region by:
- Enhanced capacity of criminal justice system to counter illicit proliferation and misuse of firearms in the context of the Caribbean Roadmap and reinforce legislative and regulatory frameworks to comply with international and regional instruments
- Enhanced capacity of criminal justice institutions and border management services to detect, investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate illicit firearms trafficking cases and related offences, and to engage in effective law enforcement and judicial cooperation for that purpose.
- Promote effective international cooperation and sharing of information and good practices among firearms and organised crime practitioners on the prevention and combat of firearms trafficking and related crimes, through regular contacts and use of specialised cooperation networks and platforms.
- Monitoring illicit trafficking flows through enhanced periodic data collection and analysis on firearms and related matters.