UNODC Global Firearms Programme Workshop on data collection and analysis to support the monitoring of illicit arms flows in Trinidad and Tobago
On 8 April 2022, 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 organised a workshop to strengthen the capacities of Trinidad and Tobago authorities to collect and analysis firearms-related data for the purposes of monitoring illicit arms flows and contribute to both measuring the achievement of Target 16.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and promoting an evidence-based action against firearms trafficking. The workshop brought together 15 experts from Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Ministry of Defence, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Attorney General’s Office and the Strategic Services Agency. After a presentation of the international efforts to monitor illicit arms flows, the workshop focused on UNODC’s tool to collect and analyse firearms-related data, namely the Illicit Arms Flows Questionnaire (IAFQ), which is distributed on an annual basis among all the States around the globe to generate data on seized, found and surrendered firearms and ammunition, the criminal context of the seizures and other relevant issues. The IAFQ promotes a standardisation of data collection efforts at global level, and also facilitates the identification of trafficking routes, trends and linkages with other crimes, which eventually contributes to building an evidence basis that helps to design more effective policy and operational responses at local, national and international levels.
The workshop combined two lectures delivered by UNODC experts on SDG Target 16.4 and the IAFQ, with group discussions and a practical exercise, which allowed participants to increase their knowledge on the topic, exchange experiences and strengthen inter-institutional cooperation and information sharing in the fight against illicit firearms trafficking.
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.