HomeDOCUMENTSCommittee Reports2003 Annual Session141 CCDG 03 E - ORGANISED CRIME – DRUG AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN EUROPE
141 CCDG 03 E - ORGANISED CRIME – DRUG AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN EUROPE
Rapporteur : Christine BOUTIN (France)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS OF ORGANISED CRIME
A. EXPLANATORY FACTORS
B. THE PRINCIPAL TARGETS OF ORGANISED CRIME
II. DRUG TRAFFICKING AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN EUROPE
A. THE PRINCIPAL NETWORKS
B. DRUG TRAFFICKING, AN OVERVIEW
C. HUMAN TRAFFICKING, AN OUTLINE
1. Organised crime is a complex concept that is difficult to grasp and lends itself to many definitions, legal, "criminological" or sociological. The International Secretariat of INTERPOL was the first to define organised crime, at the International Colloquium on Organised Crime held in Saint-Cloud (France) in May 1988, as "any association or group of persons engaging in a continuing illegal activity whose [aim] is to make profits without regard for national frontiers". The United Nations define it as "(...) a structured group of three or more persons, existing for a period of time and acting in concert with the aim of committing one or more serious crimes or offences (...), in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit".
2. The large number of definitions - the European Union (EU) and the Council of Europe have also applied themselves to the task - might lead one to question their value and purpose. From a pragmatic viewpoint, however, these definitions give practitioners applying the criminal law (policemen, judges) the opportunity to appreciate and make clear the many-faceted nature of the new crimes.
3. Organised crime has grown considerably during the past decade, both in quantity (increased acts of violence and intimidation, cases of fraud and corruption, illegal trafficking and recycling of its products, etc.) and quality (professionalisation, rationalisation and internationalisation of networks). It has benefited greatly from the globalisation of trade and finance, as well as from the mobility of persons and property, the development of instantaneous communication, the new interdependence of nations, the opening up, not to say abandonment, of national frontiers and a measure of loss of sovereignty of States over their own territory. In Europe in particular the fall of the "iron curtain" has provided the opportunities to fill the vacuums left in the East by States in the process of radical transformation, while the increase in the rate of European construction has encouraged fraud of all kinds to the detriment of the Community.
4. Organised crime, a subject of grave political concern in the mid-1990s (see the reports of governmental enquiries at the centre of parliamentary discussions in Germany, Italy, France and Switzerland), seems to arouse less intense interest today, since the tragic events of 11 September 2001 and the extensive media coverage of the war against terrorism, the conflict in Iraq and its consequences claim all the leaders' attention.
5. With the prospect - now imminent - of enlargement of the EU and of its Schengen area, and in accordance with the wishes expressed by members of the Sub-Committee in Istanbul, your Rapporteur thinks it necessary to give a broad outline of organised crime. In so doing she will pick up the thread of the work done in 1995 and 1996 by the President of the Sub-Committee on Civilian Security and Co-operation, Lord Lucas of Chilworth, and will follow up the study on the mafiya in the report by Volker Kröning: Russian Federation: assessment of the internal situation [AV 175 CC/DG (02) 3]. In this respect your Rapporteur is of the opinion that the topic should be pursued, and next year there should be a more closely targeted investigation in greater depth into organised crime (for example, into the link between organised crime - drug trafficking in particular - and terrorism).
6. In the first part of this report your Rapporteur will summarise the characteristics of organised crime. In the second and last part of this report, she will focus on the two most "promising" markets at present in European countries, namely drug trafficking and human trafficking.
I. PRINCIPAL CHARACTERISTICS OF ORGANISED CRIME
7. Delegates will recall that the development of organised crime was due in part to the Black Market during the Second World War and that the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in the 1970s, and the explosion in drug use after the Vietnam war, encouraged expansion of the networks, which the break-up of the Soviet Union and the proliferation of regional conflicts (in Transdniestria, Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Chechnya, the former Yugoslavia, etc.) have helped to internationalise.
8. Today combating this often elusive threat, whose destabilising effects extend to all areas (social, political and economic), is proving extremely difficult because of the secretive organisation of the rings and their enormous financial power. In your Rapporteur's view, this peril is now alarming in its extent and calls for serious attention and an in-depth knowledge of these labyrinthine "parallel economies". This first chapter will therefore tackle explanatory factors for this underground crime and the principal targets of attack by mafia groups.
A. EXPLANATORY FACTORS
9. Following the example of Dr Mark Galeotti, Director of the "Russian and Eurasian organised crime" research unit at Keele University (United Kingdom), your Rapporteur is anxious to stress that many factors are involved in the constant development of the networks. On the whole, these factors can be gathered into five categories, as indicated below (see Mark Galeotti, "Transnational Organized Crime: law enforcement as a global battlespace", in Emerging Security Threats, Bunker R., ed., 2002).
10. It should be noted that influence peddling and corruption are among the most difficult barriers to overcome in getting countries to take effective action against organised crime. In the Third World in particular, organised crime leaves its trademark in electoral processes, with entire sectors being under its de facto influence in China, Vietnam, Burma, Pakistan and Russia and in most of the former Soviet Republics, as well as in many African and Latin American countries.
a. Political factors first of all,
11. Political factors to which criminal networks are quick to respond. The collapse of the USSR, the war in the Balkans or the retrocession of Hong Kong (July 1997) and Macao (December 1999) to the Chinese People's Republic have enabled organised crime to prosper. Delegates will recall that the conflict in the Balkans facilitated heroin transit to Europe through that region, and that the flood of refugees and migrants from the combat areas towards the EU has seen the emergence of the formidable Albanian mafias, whose role in several cases involving narcotics, illegal immigration and prostitution has been demonstrated. These mafias have established themselves on a permanent basis in Italy, where they have planted cannabis in Apulia and Calabria, and are said now to be trying to compete with the Italian organisations. They are also expanding in France, taking advantage in particular of a strong community in the Rhône-Alpes region, not far from Switzerland where many Kosovars live. The Hong Kong Triads have extended their activities over the entire territory of the People's Republic, investing in the new Chinese economy and establishing ties with national figures.
b. Economic factors, second,
12. Economic factors to which organised crime is obviously extremely sensitive. Here your Rapporteur will stress the globalisation of trade and the creation of common markets: NAFTA (North American Free Trade Area), MERCOSUR (South American Common Market), ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) and the European Common Market, all of which benefit parallel economies, illegal products being hidden among imported/exported goods. As a rough guide, in 1999 the American customs services were in a position to check no more than 3% at most of the goods imported into the United States. This figure might decrease with the growth in the next few years in the volume of goods traded (see The Terrorism Research Center, "Global Context of International Crime - Implications of a Changing World", http://www.homelandsecurity.com).
13. It is noteworthy that, just as firms adapt to developments in the market, the networks respond to their environment. This sometimes dazzling capability of yielding to circumstances is part of the explanation for their permanence, and puts their opponents in a position in which they always lag behind.
c. Application of the laws, third,
14. Application of the laws which paradoxically may be at the root of the creation of parallel markets. Although they may act as a deterrent (see the pressures applied to the Italian and American mafias, forced to be careful or in Japan the end of the policy of tolerance towards the boryokudan Yakuza), successful police raids, the passing of anti-drug laws or increases in taxes on tobacco or petrol may have surprising counter-productive effects. Thus the very powerful Yamaguchi-gumi Yakuza is said to be steadily leaving the street for the benefit of its "franchised" clients and concentrating on the more strategic aspect of its enterprises. Similarly, victories over the drug cartels in Peru and Bolivia have brought the narcotraficantes closer to the United States; they now operate in Mexico as cartelitos that are more flexible - and more difficult to fight.
15. Thus the disappearance of a group due to action by the forces of order would seem to have but a limited effect on the overall level of fraud. Consequently action by the State might also be seen as the tool of Darwinian-type natural selection that allows the better organised networks to develop.
16. More generally, differences in legislation between countries bordering each other may contribute to the emergence of cross-frontier trafficking, just as democratisation may enable criminal groups to manipulate newly established public institutions. Ironically, the spread of international law and embargoes, sanctions and conventions also enable them (with the support of authorities and/or firms) to supply those who might be affected by such measures with prohibited commodities.
d. Technological factors, fourthly,
17. Technological factors which are increasingly shaping the modi operandi of criminal structures and strengthening their interaction. In the 1990s the appearance of the "Net" and the spread of new information and telecommunications technologies gave these structures areas of operation beyond their wildest dreams, such as electronic trading in commodities of all kinds (pharmaceuticals, synthetic drugs, etc.) and money laundering by Internet banks. The formation of real "virtual gangs", whose members could operate from various countries without ever meeting, is now being mentioned, because cyberspace is no longer just a resource but is really a "territory" (see, for example, the possible transformation into gangs of groups of hackers and crackers, who up to now have been fraudulently breaking into computerised systems for fun, as a challenge or seeking notoriety, and interfering with or distorting their operation).
18. In the experts' opinion, governments have only lately become aware of this cybercrime; they have but few means to combat it (see their lack of resources and competent staff, the inhibiting effect of their bureaucracy, the media and the electorate). Raymond Kendall, the former Secretary-General of INTERPOL, says the same, taking the view that only co-operation between the public sector and the private sector - where most of the specialists in the field are to be found - might help to contain this phenomenon (see Moisés Naím, "Meet the World's Top Cop", in Foreign Policy, 01-02/2001).
19. In addition to these new technologies comes the use by mafiosi of the GPS (Global Positioning System) and of cryptography, to say nothing, of course, of the improvement in transport resources (see the aircraft built from composite materials covered with a layer of paint that absorbs radar waves - enough to make them undetectable by the surveillance tools used by customs and air police - that Mexican criminal organisations had purchased in 1995, or again the warships based on pleasure boats intended for pirates on the South-East Asian seas that the Italian police had found in a secret workshop in Rome in 1997).
20. Lastly, your Rapporteur will refer to advances in agricultural techniques, which make it possible today to grow psychotropic substances in regions with inhospitable climates (see, for example, the cannabis harvests in Oregon, United States).
e. Factors within the networks, to conclude,
21. Factors within the networks which shape organised crime and influence its markets. Thus "marriages of convenience" (INTERPOL terminology) between gangs in the same country and/or different countries may contribute to greater efficiency, just as rivalries and internal conflicts may give rise to a more powerful organisation.
22. Structural changes within rings are also important, reflecting the constant challenges that face them (see the large gangs which, as circumstances dictate, reform into semi-autonomous bands and/or small ad hoc teams operating within looser and less structured networks with a stronger "spirit of enterprise"). In this sense organised crime is said to be no longer the prerogative of petty criminals alone: it is also the province of "white-collar workers" (telecommunications engineers, chemists, agronomists, lawyers, etc.) whose special skills, contacts, nationality, etc. may be of value.
23. In your Rapporteur's opinion it is obvious that improvements in the activities of the networks and their increasingly transnational and many-faceted nature are not calculated to make the work of those who apply the criminal law easier. Traditional barriers between national law enforcement agencies and the tight seals between levels of fraud also prevent the investigation services from following the rings.
24. When confronted by these multidisciplinary organisations, governments tend to adopt strategies according to type of activity (drug trafficking, arms dealing, etc.) or to create interdepartmental working groups with bureaucracies that are sometimes very cumbersome (see the new American Homeland Security Department, which has a staff of some 170,000 people, brings together 22 federal agencies and deals inter alia with combating trafficking in narcotics).
B. THE PRINCIPAL TARGETS OF ORGANISED CRIME
25. In the interests of clarity, in this second sub-chapter your Rapporteur will survey the principal targets that organised crime has attacked. She will rely for this purpose on the article by Moisés Naím "The Five Wars of Globalization" (in Foreign Policy, 01-02/2003); she will supplement this article in the light of other studies and the visit by the Civil Dimension of Security Committee to INTERPOL headquarters in Lyon at the end of April 2003.
26. While calculations of the value of the global drugs trade are hard to take literally, according to the United Nations (see Human Development Report 1999, United Nations Development Programme) and to Dr Mark Galeotti (see "Transnational Organized Crime: law enforcement as a global battlespace", in Emerging Security Threats, Bunker R., ed., 2002), drug trafficking would have an estimated annual turnover of 400 billion dollars - equivalent to the gross domestic product of Spain, i.e. 8% of world trade -, and would account for 50% of organised criminal activity. In Europe, activities relating to narcotics are even more extensive, the police in various Union member States having shown that there were long-term strategic alliances among the networks for sharing existing markets or breaking into new ones (see the alliances between Russians and Colombians, or between Turks, Albanians and Central European mafias). Reference will be briefly made here again to drug trafficking as a major source of financing terrorist organisations and terrorist acts (see the Autodefensas Unidas and Revolutionaly Armed Forces of Colombia).
27. In its 1996 Atlas mondial des drogues, the Observatoire géopolitique des drogues (OGD, France) estimated that the increase in profit between the price paid to the peasant for the raw material and the retail price that the drug would fetch in the streets of rich countries, would be multiplied by 20 to 40 on average in the case of hashish and by 1,500 [comma added] to 2,000 in the case of heroin (quoted in Alain Labrousse, "L'approvisionnement des marchés des drogues dans l'espace Schengen", in Les Cahiers de la sécurité intérieure, 32, 1998). In a survey published in July 2001, The Economist indicated for its part that a kilo of heroin bought from a Pakistani peasant for 90 dollars was re-sold for about 3,000 dollars in Islamabad (wholesale), 80,000 dollars in the United States (wholesale) and retailed on the street for 290,000 dollars (see "A survey of illegal drugs", The Economist, 28 July 2001). In the light of this assessment the interest in trafficking in narcotics will be readily understood.
28. Delegates will recall that in 1998, during an extraordinary session of the United Nations General Assembly, the international community had ratified a plan of action for a world-wide campaign against drugs aimed at "eradicating or significantly reducing" the supply of and demand for narcotics by 2008. On reaching the half-way point, the UN Narcotics Commission made an assessment in Vienna on 16 and 17 April 2003 of progress in the implementation of this plan. Although in their final declaration the member States also repeated their willingness to act together to combat drugs and drug-associated crime, it is apparent that the targets set for the 2008 timeframe cannot be achieved. This has been confirmed by the analysis of recent global illicit drug trends published by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC, Vienna) in June 2003, the principal findings of which your Rapporteur wishes to quote here.
"Typical" narcotic elements
29. With regard to cannabis (marijuana, hashish), the UNODC observes that production has continued to increase everywhere in the world (and particularly in Africa, where a quarter of the seizures are made - see Global Illicit Drug Trends 2003). The United States is the premier consumer market. Its requirements are met above all by Mexico, Colombia and the Caribbean, although it is itself a producer. In Europe a high proportion of cannabis comes from Morocco (up to 70% according to some sources), and to a lesser extent from Pakistan.
30. Regarding coca, the principal producers of which are Colombia (80%), Peru and Bolivia, although the UNODC reports a 22% reduction in the cultivated areas in Peru and Bolivia between 1999 and 2002, it observes that their production of cocaine itself increased between 2001 and 2002. As to demand, it is said to be stable in North America but to be increasing in South America and Europe.
31. As regards opium and heroin, the UNODC reports that progress has been made in the "golden triangle", the areas of poppy cultivation having shrunk by 40% in Burma and Laos between 1998 and 2002. In the same period, however, world heroin production has gone from 4,000 to 4,500 tonnes. Afghanistan now supplies three-quarters of it, production there having returned to the levels seen before the Taliban ban of 2001. Consumption is falling in Western Europe, but is booming in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (i.e., in the case of the latter, in the very heart of the areas of production and on the main export routes for narcotics).
32. Some point out that the rise in Afghan opium production was so high between 1999 and 2000 that the dealers themselves suggested a freeze in Afghanistan, for fear that prices would collapse. In spring 2001 a field survey in the east of the country by correspondents of the former Observatoire géopolitique des drogues showed that this freeze was allegedly funded by Pashtoun and Baluchi mafias (see Alain Labrousse, Dictionnaire géopolitique des drogues, De Boek, 2003). Since the events of October 2001, the peasants have started sowing again on a massive scale. In April 2002, Mr Hamid Karzai's provisional government launched a ten-year crop eradication programme, to which the United Kingdom has committed 115 million dollars over three years.
33. In Latin America the trade in these lucrative elixirs is managed by cartels which have set up real "narco-multinationals". Delegates will recall that the Medellin cartel (Colombia) was the talk of the town in the 1990s, and that the death of its godfather, Pablo Escobar, in December 1993 did not disturb the mafia in the region. Other cartels, including the Cali cartel, were able to prosper by virtue of collusion at the highest level and intermediaries in the United States and Europe (particularly in Madrid). Since then these cartels have decentralised their structures and diversified their activities at the same time. In Asia the trade traditionally changes "owners" at the frontier crossings.
34. According to the global figures to which your Rapporteur has obtained access, the United States is currently spending some 11 to 12 billion dollars annually in substantial operations against trafficking in and consumption of narcotics (see the National Drug Control Strategy published by the White House in February 2003). The "Millennium Operation" (October 2000) by Colombian police and the Drug Enforcement Administration led to the arrest of some thirty drug-dealers in Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador. Moreover, a tunnel between Mexico and the United States through which tons of drugs passed was discovered in March 2002, and Benjamin Arellano Felix (the godfather of one of the most violent Mexican cartels) was arrested.
35. The aims of "Colombia Plan", on which the United States has spent 1.7 billion dollars since its launch in 2000 (to which should be added 600 million dollars for 2003), are the eradication of coca cultivation in that country, support for peace negotiations between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the National Liberation Army and the economic development of the poorest sections of the population. According to the latest report by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, United States Department of State (see Fiscal Year 2004 Budget-Congressional Justification), coca cultivation in Colombia has decreased by about 15% since the mid-1990s. Some 463 million dollars have been requested by the Department of State for the support of the Colombian crop-spraying programme in 2004. Overall, however, Washington's commitment is seen by neighbouring Andean countries as a risk that coca production might migrate to their own territory and increase there.
36. While the replacement of drugs of natural origin by synthetic drugs is not yet a subject for discussion, production of and trafficking in the latter are increasing exponentially. Even in 1996 the United Nations was sending out an alarm call, claiming that synthetic stimulants such as amphetamines (ATS), ecstasy (MDMA) and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) "might become the favourite drugs in the twenty-first century" (see Alain Labrousse, Dictionnaire géopolitique des drogues, De Boek, 2003). To say nothing of synthetic cocaine and heroin, which, according to what INTERPOL told the Committee in April 2003, the traffickers "have in mind in the long term". The inescapable fact is that across the world seizures of synthetic drugs, and of ecstasy in particular, have increased threefold during the past ten years.
37. Europe is the largest producer and exporter of these agents. The experts are in agreement that the Netherlands, and to a lesser extent Belgium, supply 80% of the ecstasy in circulation - while the United Kingdom, Ireland and Spain are the greatest consumers of this drug. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, over 25.6 million MDMA tablets " linked to the Netherlands" were seized on the international market in 2001 (cited in Progress Report as a contribution to the Mid-Term (2003) Review by UNGASS, Transnational Institute, April 2003, p. 16). Although the manufacture of ecstasy in the United States is reported, the bulk of it is handled by Dutch- and Israeli-based criminal organisations via, inter alia, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba which, like Surinam in South America, have close economic ties with the Netherlands. Some maintain that stricter application of Dutch criminal law would cause a shift in production to the United Kingdom, Germany and Poland, the latter now being among the principal suppliers of amphetamines in Europe. According to the UNODC, production is also shifting to countries in Asia, more specifically to Burma, where poppy cultivation has declined in favour of amphetamine production (see Global Illicit Drug Trends 2003).
38. Your Rapporteur will not dwell on the effects of these drugs on users, or on the risks to public health. However, she does wish to point out that in Asia their consumption seems to be of "utilitarian" type (in the context of work), while in the West they are used essentially for recreation and are associated with certain types of music (techno in particular, which the young listen to at rave parties and in discotheques and clubs, or at small private parties, access to which is denied to the agencies involved in prevention and treatment). In addition, multiple drug addition, involving a mix of synthetic and non-synthetic substances, taken alternately, is said to have become the principal trend.
39. According to information gathered from INTERPOL by members of the Committee, the traffic is booming even more because ecstasy and amphetamines are easy to produce, the markets are within easy reach and these substances are not regarded by users as drugs in the strict sense. Laboratories can be set up and moved relatively easily close to the sites of consumption, while it is no longer necessary to have a sound knowledge of chemistry to manufacture them: only a refrigerator is required, and all that counts is the order in which the chemicals are added. It should be noted that the makers are varying their products more and more in order to avoid prosecution, and that all they have to do is to change one molecule in the composition of a substance for it to be no longer prohibited, while retaining similar psychotropic properties. And INTERPOL points out that the criminal networks that exploit them differ from the large structured organisations known for their involvement with other types of drug, because the former are associations of a few (three to four) persons which form and dissolve as circumstances dictate.
40. This situation is all the more worrying because some of the chemical precursors used in the manufacture of synthetic drugs are available in pharmacies, hardware stores and supermarkets, filling stations, do-it-yourself stores or retailers of building materials, where they have many lawful uses. Some countries have adopted legislation aimed at controlling the sale and purchase of chemicals. In the United States, the 1997 law on methamphetamine (MCA) has reduced the supply of pseudoephedrine to dealers in commercial quantities - they now obtain supplies from Canada, where controls on such products do not exist (see the joint report on Chemical Diversion and Synthetic Drug Manufacture by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration, September 2001). The diversion of precursors originating in the Chinese People's Republic, India and the Czech Republic (three of the largest manufacturers of chemicals in the world) is increasing continuously.
b. Arms dealing
41. The networks are also past masters of arms dealing. According to the United Nations, only 3% (18 million) of the 550 million small arms in circulation in the world are used by government, military or police forces. Nearly 20% of the trade in these weapons is said to be in the hands of the networks (see the Russia mafiya in particular), dealings which are said to generate over a billion dollars annually.
42. This figure takes no account of the illegal market in munitions, which ranges from the supply of latest model battle tanks to the most sophisticated modern radar systems, by way of certain constituents of weapons of mass destruction. Although the International Atomic Energy Agency has confirmed only a dozen cases of theft of such constituents in ten years, today the demand is said to be more urgent, involving an increase in prices that might help to create small specialised rings.
c. Human trafficking
43. In March 2000 Pino Arlacchi, a noted expert on mafias and the Director of the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, became alarmed by the turn that human trafficking across the world was taking, "criminal organisations end[ing] up by finding [that] traffic more attractive than dealing in narcotics" (see Dossiers>Finance>Paradis bancaires et fiscaux", Observatoire des transnationales, http://www.transnationale.org, March 2002).
44. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that between 20 and 40 million, i.e. 4 million individuals at any time, out of an annual total of 130 million migrants move illegally. Five hundred thousand persons are said to enter the United States this way each year, and 500,000 others enter Europe. This traffic is said to generate profits of the order of 3 to 10 billion dollars; INTERPOL has even assessed the earnings for the year 2000 at some 30 billion dollars (see the presentation by Gwen McClure at the meeting of the Committee in Ottawa in October 2001). This would make human trafficking the fastest growing criminal activity because, for example, the rings can demand up to 35,000 dollars per trip from China to New York. Thus many of those who use the services of a network would be compelled to suffer a form of slavery in order to pay their debts (see the "ants", originally from Wenzhou in China, who work in the clothing industry sweat-shops in Paris).
45. Human trafficking includes two markets: one is illegal immigration or human smuggling, which consists of helping people, in return for money, to enter or to reside illegally in a country. The other is human trafficking which, according to the United Nations, involves "the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring (...) of persons, by means of the threat or use of force (...), or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation (...)" (see the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and Article 3 of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons). Some link human trafficking to the mafia sex industry (for women and children), to forced labour and organ donation (for children) and the "three Ds", dirty, difficult and dangerous work (for men).
46. In practice these distinctions seem to be applied only with difficulty, hence the problems in accounting for the phenomenon accurately and attempting to deal with it humanely. As a rough guide, the research department of the American Congress reports that one to two million persons cross frontiers every year under duress, including 500,000 women victims of criminal networks. Fifty thousand women and children are said to be brought into the United States in this way, and over 200,000 children (slaves, beggars and soldiers) into West and Central Africa.
47. Governments respond to this human trafficking by stepping up border checks, passing more restrictive laws on asylum and immigration and entering into bilateral readmission agreements. This is shown by the signature by President Bush at the end of February 2003 of a general policy directive to combat human trafficking, or again the new British law on asylum, immigration and nationality passed in November 2002, which seeks to combat smugglers, to track down false refugees and to speed and improve control of the procedure for seeking asylum. The delegates will recall here that the United Kingdom attracts almost one asylum seeker in Europe in three - the absence of any identity document in part explains this situation - and that the country had record immigration in 2002 (see the hundreds of illegals who forced their way into the Channel tunnel; the reception following the closure of the refugee centre in Sangatte in France of most of the persons registered there; and the doubling of the number of refugees coming from Iraq and Zimbabwe).
d. Pirating of intellectual property
48. According to Moisés Naím (see "The Five Wars of Globalization", in Foreign Policyt, 01-02/2003.), pirating of intellectual property cost the American economy 9.4 billion dollars in 2001. Thirty per cent of business software in Germany and the United Kingdom, 40% in France and Japan and 60% in Greece and South Korea is manufactured illegally, and in Russia only 8% of it and 3% of video games are authentic. Up to 50% of medicines in Nigeria and Thailand, for example, are produced fraudulently, to say nothing of copies of clothing, watches, unfinished articles, etc.
49. Although technology has clearly facilitated the process (see the pirating of music and songs downloaded on Internet), marketing and the top brands have also greatly contributed to it by creating desire. The World Intellectual Property Organization, the World Trade Organization, the World Customs Organization, or even INTERPOL, have devoted their energies to it for several years, with a success that some describe as moderate.
e. Money laundering
50. Lastly, the networks are past masters in the art of laundering money. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) assesses the annual turnover of criminal organisations at some 1,500 billion dollars, taking into account both the annual earnings from all trafficking - including forms that your Rapporteur has not dealt with (stolen cars, threatened species, dangerous products, defrauding of State budgetary revenues and EU resources) - and income from capital, which is often integrated into the legal economy. Although the laundering of funds is outside the normal scope of economic statistics, the IMF nevertheless estimates that between 600 and 1,000 billion dollars are laundered every year (2 to 5% of the gross world domestic product), most of it profits generated by the sale of narcotics.
51. Laundering is the transformation of cash into respectable capital. The procedure usually involves obtaining fictitious receipts through "understanding" intermediaries (foreign exchange agents, family firms); casinos, and more generally the gambling industry (racing, lotteries) are often the transit points for these operations. The capital is then paid into a bank "that does not ask too many questions", where it becomes bank money converted into electronic cash by way of a computer. Processing is almost always carried out in an offshore banking establishment serving as logistic support for laundering. Money "cleaned" in this way can go into a respectable bank for purchase of government bonds or financial investment - which is apparently highly valued by debtor countries.
52. Although the European Parliament has estimated that some 100 billion dollars were laundered every year in Europe, the main offshore centres have been in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Delegates will recall that in June 2000 the Financial Action Task Force (FATF - OECD, Paris) published a list of 15 non-co-operating countries (i.e. countries whose anti-laundering system suffers from serious and systematic problems), which included the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, Dominica, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands, Nauru and Niue - as well as Israel, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Panama, the Philippines and Russia. This list has since been revised every six months, and included in June 2003 the Cook Islands, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nigeria, the Philippines and Ukraine - territories and countries whose position was re-examined during the FATF plenary session at the beginning of October 2003. Progress has been made in a number of these jurisdictions although none sufficiently to be removed from the list; the notable exception being Myanmar against who proposed FATF countermeasures were expected to come into force on 3 November 2003.
53. Your Rapporteur will not consider the consequences of money laundering for democracies and NATO member-countries here - this topic might be tackled by the Economic Committee. She will simply state that in 1990 the FATF issued Forty recommendations aimed at making the campaign against laundering money effective. In October 2001, the FATF expanded its mandate to deal with the issue of the financing of terrorism, and took the important step of creating Eight Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing. These Recommendations contain a set of measures aimed at combating the funding of terrorist acts and terrorist organisations, and are complementary to the Forty Recommendations. The latter were amended in June 2003, and are now more restrictive. They include, inter alia: a broader definition of crimes seeking to extend the offence of laundering (see drug-trafficking, to which human trafficking, forgery, smuggling, etc. have now been added); enhancement of the duty of vigilance; increased surveillance of the movements of funds of "politically exposed" persons; extension of anti-laundering measures to non-financial firms and professions (casinos, estate agents, accountants, lawyers and independent legal professions); introduction of key institutional measures in international co-operation; extension of anti-laundering obligations to combating the funding of terrorism; and the prohibition of shell banking companies.
54. Over and above the ambiguity in monitoring systems and weaknesses in their implementation, there is a more fundamental contradiction today: willingness to watch over movements of capital within the framework of a globalised economy. Aspects of this contradiction are the development of cyberbanking, the appearance of the e-money card, or even the imposition of liberal formulas on countries in the South and East which involve large scale rapid privatisations in States which usually have no capital available, whose industrial units and services are obsolete and where the risks deter businessmen from investing.
II. DRUG TRAFFICKING AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN EUROPE
55. In this second and last chapter your Rapporteur wishes to focus on European countries and the two most "promising" markets at present, namely drug trafficking and human trafficking. Your Rapporteur regards this approach as all the more important because it is in a politically charged context, on the eve of the enlargement of the European Union and of its Schengen area.
A. THE PRINCIPAL NETWORKS
56. According to EUROPOL, although criminal organisations having their origins in EU member States still have a major role in the criminal activities of their respective countries, many outside groups - in certain cases very violent - have steadily established themselves in drug trafficking, illegal immigration and human trafficking. Broadly speaking, these groups are the following:
For trafficking in narcotics:
* the Colombians, specialising in dealing in cocaine from their country, who are no longer organised in extensive homogeneous cartels but, as your Rapporteur stated above, in smaller structures that readily adapt to their environment.
For trafficking in narcotics, migrants and people:
* the Chinese, who concern themselves mainly with dealing in heroin and with illegal immigration, and although they co-operate with other ethnic groups prefer to operate in closed circuit.
* the Nigerians, in dealing in drugs (unspecified) and prostitution, whom EUROPOL describe as "professionally sophisticated", combining tribal customs and ultra-modern technology in their methods.
* the North Africans, mainly dealing in cannabis, illegal immigration and human trafficking (to the south coast of Spain, directly or via Ceuta and Melilla; to Sicily or the Italian mainland, via Tunisia or sometimes Malta), referred to by EUROPOL as "well organised".
* the Turks, in "multi-drug trafficking", illegal immigration and prostitution, whose structures overall are somewhat homogeneous and quite hierarchical.
And more particularly:
* the Russians, who are advancing in all areas (see report by Volker Kröning, Russian Federation: Assessment of the internal situation [AV 175 CC/DG (02) 3]), including dealing in Ecstasy and other amphetamines.
Early in 2001 the INTERPOL analytical database, Millennium Project, was reporting some 1,000 Russian gangs operating at the international level - and from 8,000 to 10,000 groups in the territory of the former Soviet Union. Each of these groups is said to have from 50 to 1,000 members and to break up and re-form as politico-economic circumstances dictate, making it extremely difficult to track the rings.
* lastly the Albanians, who are also to be found in all areas.
At the beginning of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia the Albanians, described by INTERPOL as "hybrid organisations" often involved in criminal activities with political ramifications, were the Italian mafia's "runners" for dealing in narcotics in the region. Since then they have partly replaced the Turks and the Kurds in heroin dealing - they control nearly 70% of the market in Switzerland, Austria and Germany and 80% in the Scandinavian countries - and are now said to be competing with the Sicilian underworld. Their clans (fares) are of patriarchal type and follow the old rules of rural life (code of honour, meetings attended by few people), which makes their networks difficult to infiltrate. Moreover they have the advantage of a safe refuge in their own country and an extensive diaspora.
B. DRUG TRAFFICKING, AN OVERVIEW
a. General comments
57. In April 2000 the last report of the Observatoire géopolitique des drogues was stating that the Schengen area had become "the most important drug market on the planet". In the same year the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA, Lisbon) revealed that "over 40 million people in the EU [had] used marijuana or hashish. On average one 15- to 16-year-old adolescent in five and at least one in four in the 15-34 age range [had] tried cannabis".
58. Although the experts now agree that cannabis is still the most widely consumed drug in Europe, they also refer to an increase in the consumption of synthetic drugs and cocaine. In fact synthetic drugs (amphetamines, ecstasy) are in second place - according to the 2002 report by the International Office for Drug Control (UNODC, United Nations Vienna), 60% of world ecstasy consumption is in Europe - and are gaining ground among the young, who now also seem to be making use of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Cocaine, long used in very well-defined circles, is now affecting social networks that are not interconnected, evidence of a substantial level of spread - all the more disturbing because there is no substitute, like methadone or buprenorphine in the case of heroin.
59. By way of example, in France in 2002 ecstasy was tried by 1.1% of persons aged 15 to 75, but with a rate of 1.9% in the 15-34 age group and of 5% among boys of 17 (2.9% among girls of the same age). With regard to cocaine, the rate of experimentation stood at 1.9% among persons aged 15 to 75, but was 3% in the 15-34 age group and 2.2% among boys of 17 (0.9% among girls of the same age). These trends were confirmed by French customs officials, who stated in March 2003 when their annual report was submitted that seizures of ecstasy had increased by 47.2% relative to 2001, and seizures of amphetamines by 238.3%; the quantities of cocaine seized reached "an unprecedented level", with an increase of 35.4% in seizures. It is noteworthy that seizures of crack (smokable basic crystallised cocaine) rose by 408.9% (see Tendances récentes et nouvelles drogues, 2002 report by the Observatoire français des drogues et des toxicomanies; and Forte hausse des saisies de drogues dures en 2002, Le Monde, 24 March 2003).
60. Spain acts as the main point of entry for hashish coming from Morocco, where cannabis crops in the Rif Mountains and beyond are said to cover from 100,000 to 120,000 hectares. The European Union estimates that the cannabis fields on this massif bring in some 2.8 billion euros annually, that they double every three to five years and that the 2003 crop might even cover 250,000 hectares (see "The Rif invaded by the kif", The Guardian, published in Courrier International, No. 658, 12-18 June 2003).
61. As for heroin, 80% of that consumed in the EU comes from Afghanistan. As stated above, in 2002 that country regained its rank as the leading world supplier of opium, with some 3,400 tonnes harvested, the result of the sowings of poppies from October to December 2001. Opium and heroin take different routes, inter alia:
* the "Southern route", which passes either through Iran or Pakistan to the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean ports, towards European countries or the southern shore of the Mediterranean;
* the "Balkan route" (largely controlled by Albanian clans), through Iran and the Middle East, Turkey and Bulgaria then either through the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia* and Albania or through Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic;
* lastly the "Northern route" (the former Silk Road, along which about 50% of Afghan heroin is said to pass), through the Central Asian Republics (in particular Tajikistan and Kazakhstan), then either through Russia, Ukraine and Poland/the Baltic countries and thence to the countries of the EU, or through the Caucasus and Turkey.
62. Turkey is on the principal transit route for drugs originating in Afghanistan (morphine base, opium, heroin) and on the line followed by traffickers for the shipment from Europe to the East of large quantities of chemical precursors (particularly acetic anhydride) and synthetic drugs. Turkey has been hit very hard by this traffic, and is determined to fight it. Although your Rapporteur welcomes this determination, more substantial international co-operation and assistance are necessary in order to stamp it out.
b. Central and East European countries (CEEC)
63. As regards central and east European countries (CEEC), a study published in October 2002 by the EMCDDA refers to a "situation that is the exact opposite of that which existed only five or seven years ago". Although then they were generally seen only as countries through which the drugs passed (see Poland, the through route for all trafficking), the CEEC "have today become an obvious target in respect of consumption of [all narcotics]". As in the EU, cannabis is the drug with the highest consumption rate, but heroin has also found a new outlet there. Amphetamines and Ecstasy also, which are either produced locally (mainly in Poland and the Czech Republic - see pervitin, piko in Czech, which is now also found in Germany) or exported from the markets in the European Union (Netherlands, Belgium - see above).
64. In Bulgaria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic the number using intravenous injection or dependent on hard drugs is the same as in the member-countries: 0.5%, i.e. five persons in a thousand. It rises to 1% in the three Baltic States, which are among those most affected by the phenomenon. Because it came on the scene relatively recently, heroin has not yet caused the same damage to health (AIDS, hepatitis B) as in the EU. However, the situation might deteriorate because of the dangerous practices seen there (such as sharing syringes). In this connection there has been a "rapid and alarming increase" in HIV among drug addicts in Lithuania and Estonia.
65. Although for the most part the CEEC have ratified the three United Nations conventions in drug control (the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Vienna Convention against the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) and although the strategies that they have adopted endeavour to ensure consistency between national policies and policies approved at European Union level, the capacity to implement these measures effectively - measures which it has taken the member States 20 years to shape, without the work necessarily being completed - would be limited and the resources allocated (including resources at the level of police services) insufficient. "It is therefore essential, the EMCDDA stresses, for the countries concerned to continue to strengthen their policies, institutions and machinery for co-ordination and to provide the necessary resources to achieve this". And for the Monitoring Centre to request that preventive measures are applied, such as distribution of syringes and condoms, or the development of AIDS tests and substitution treatments accessible to the population (see 2002 Annual Report on the drug situation in CEEC candidates).
c. The Western Balkans
66. As regards the western Balkan countries that aim to join the EU (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania) they should, according to the General Affairs Council on 28 January 2003, carry out wide-ranging reforms beforehand and fight the scourges of organised crime and corruption. This request was reiterated by the Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council at its meetings on 27 and 28 February, during which the Greek presidency expressed the wish that EUROPOL should "have a role in the region" and that a global and multidisciplinary strategy should be applied there. Calling for the preparation of organised crime "road maps", Germany, Austria and Belgium stated that priority should be given to the campaign against the traffic in narcotics.
67. It is noteworthy that the Thessaloniki European Council (19-20 June 2003) approved the "Thessaloniki Agenda for the Western Balkans" (which examines ways of strengthening the stabilisation and association policy pursued by the Union in respect of the region), and repeated its determination to support the integration prospects of these countries.
d. The member States
68. As for the member States, despite setting up joint "anti-drug stations" (see, for example, the Tournai Franco-Belgian station) and exchanges of policemen and judges, despite the efforts made since the Schengen area was established to improve co-ordination and the sharing of information among competent units (through, inter alia, two specialised multimedia networks called EMMI and Linguanet), the lack of an integrated approach to the drug problem weighs upon and inhibits the campaign against cross-border criminal networks.
69. This point was also raised in November 2002 by the European Union Council, which took the view that "future European actions against drugs should be focused, clear in its profile and based upon proactivity, continuity, coherence and efficiency. An integrated and multidisciplinary approach must be applied at the European level aiming at reducing the demand, hindering the supply, preventing the abuse, treating the abusers and punishing the criminals involved in illegal activities" (see CORDROGUE 80, Draft note from the Council to the European Council in connection with the mid-term evaluation of the European Union strategy on drugs [2000-2004], 12451/3/02 Rev. 3, 20 November 2002).
70. To this may be added the issue of decriminalisation and legalisation, on which there is at present no consensus within the Union. Prohibition of drugs makes them scarce and expensive, giving rise to a highly profitable trade and a high crime rate. Some European countries (Spain, Italy, Luxembourg and Portugal) criticised by the International Office for Drug Control (IODC) have decriminalised the growing and possession of cannabis for personal use. The IODC also accuses the Netherlands - and Switzerland (which your Rapporteur will bring in here, as a neighbour of the EU) - of contravening the UN Conventions by allowing the sale of cannabis in "coffee shops" and partly legalising possession. In addition, the Office denounces the Hague decision to authorise the use of this drug for medical purposes, and is worried about the downgrading by Great Britain.
71. Over and above this reality, it seems to your Rapporteur that the only hope of opposing the development of trafficking intended for Europe - as in the rest of the world - lies in combining several forms of action: attacking the economic, social and psychological causes of drug use; reducing North-South inequalities; and finally by not giving up the struggle against large-scale trafficking by economic and strategic interests which seek to control client States and allies who are themselves directly implicated in drug trafficking or which close their eyes to their citizens' activities.
C. HUMAN TRAFFICKING, AN OUTLINE
72. In Europe, the past ten years have seen a substantial rise in human trafficking. Factors contributing to the phenomenon have been the break-up of the USSR, the war in the Balkans, East-West/North-South disparities, the difficult transition to a market economy and the collapse of points of reference in the CEEC, poverty, unemployment and demographic pressure in the countries of the South, etc. Other factors may explain its extent, including the continuing demand for cheap and readily exploitable labour in many sectors of European economies (agriculture, construction, manufacturing industries, services - see the report by Jean-Michel Boucheron, South-North migratory movements [AU 278 GSM (01) 5 rev. 1], which cites the case of Spain, where the harvesting of tomatoes, garlic and strawberries is no longer possible without illegals).
a. Illegal immigration
73. Illegal immigration seems to be well on the way to being the basic occupation of criminal networks in Western Europe. This activity is said to guarantee them a stable and regular source of income with little risk, enabling them to form additional rings for more lucrative and more dangerous illicit activities (narcotics, prostitution).
74. According to EUROPOL, the great majority of the networks involved in trafficking in migrants are from outside (see above). The Albanians still have a predominant role in it, even if the traffic in immigrants between Vlora, the large port in southern Albania, and the Italian coast of Bari has practically ceased since September 2002 (a co-ordinated police operation between the two countries has made it possible to arrest the smugglers and burn their speedboats). Some 200,000 illegals are also said to pass through Belarus each year, a trend which should become increasingly apparent with the accession of the Baltic countries, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic to the EU in 2004.
75. Your Rapporteur wishes to stress here that the Tampere European Council (October 1999, the first European Council devoted exclusively to the issues of "justice and home affairs") has made possible a better assessment of the challenges facing Europe in terms of immigration - including illegal immigration. For the first time in its history the EU has acquired a corpus of principles regarding migratory movements, based on the following four priorities: 1) taking account of the situation in the countries of origin in the Union's immigration policy (the necessity to contribute to the economic takeoff of these countries in order to keep their people at home); 2) the integration of foreigners resident in Europe; 3) combating illegal immigration rings as a form of organised crime; 4) the importance of a common European asylum system - which formed the basis for the launch in January 2003 of the Eurodac system for comparing the fingerprints of asylum seekers (and of persons in breach of the law arrested in the territory of a member State).
76. Although the Tampere Council made agreement on broad principles possible, the implementation of this policy is becoming twice as difficult. The problems highlighted by the experts include: the practical difficulty of maintaining effective external border control, having regard to the length of the new European external border and the uncertain situation in several States regarding the control of immigration; the unrealistic nature of the project to impose, by way of EU regulations and directives, uniform immigration legislation on States which have differing approaches in this area, often for deep-rooted historical reasons; and the approach, more theoretical than concrete, of the European Commission, which seems relatively unreceptive to the sociological and political constraints of States (a tendency which shows itself in the multiplicity of performance indicators and action plans too far out of touch with differences in culture and national political realities), to say nothing of the framework of decision set up by the Amsterdam Treaty (October 1997) and the transition to a qualified majority scheduled for 1 May 2004, which is highly likely to lead to divisions within the EU.
77. Little significant progress has been made since Tampere and the Seville European Council (June 2002). Although a certain number of operations and pilot projects aimed at combating illegal immigration on the Union's external frontiers have been pursued since the second half of 2002 (see, for example, the "ImmPact" and "ImmPact 2" projects run by the United Kingdom in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro respectively, or again the "Ulysses", "Triton" and "Deniz" naval operations in the Mediterranean), the establishment of a real European border guard corps is coming up against the issue of cost-sharing among member States. In addition, this topic was not tackled head-on at the Thessaloniki European Council, during which the Fifteen just reaffirmed the necessity for "prompt conclusion of readmission agreements" for illegal immigrants "with ... third countries of origin" and approved the creation of a common database on visas (the Visa Information System, VIS). Thus many observers take the view that no integrated frontier police force is likely to emerge in the medium term.
78. It is noteworthy that the Fifteen refused to endorse the British proposal to create transit centres on the periphery of the Union (Ukraine, Romania, Croatia or Albania) to which asylum seekers would be taken and where their eligibility files would be examined. Enormous reluctance was expressed by the Germans and the Swedes, and appeals were launched to check the compatibility of such a project with Union legislation and the Geneva Convention on Refugees. With responsibility for examining the issue, between now and June 2004 the European Commission will also have to examine in depth the possibility of asylum seekers filing their applications while remaining in their regions of origin. Among the recent measures aimed at combating illegal migratory movements from the western Balkans, your Rapporteur will single out the creation of a network of national "immigration" liaison officers, which should be operational between now and the end of December 2003.
79. Paradoxically, therefore, States are turning - and with no particular concern for unity - to national solutions in an attempt to choke off illegal immigration. As stated in Chapter I, they respond to it by strengthening border checks, passing more restrictive laws on asylum and immigration and entering into bilateral readmission agreements. In France, for example, a draft law on immigration control and residence of foreigners was passed at the first reading by the National Assembly on 10 July 2003 which steps up the campaign against illegal immigration rings, tightens up conditions of entry and reception for foreigners and extends the period of administrative detention prior to the implementation of removal measures.
b. Human trafficking
80. Human trafficking is an issue of particular urgency. INTERPOL states in this connection that "the business of sexual exploitation [in Europe] has boomed", making the expression "procuring on a grand scale" a - very sad - reality (see François Loncle, "Western Europe, the procurer of women from the East", Le Monde diplomatique, November 2001). The International Organization for Migration assesses the number of prostitutes of East European origin at 300,000, and the number of women and children, purchased or exchanged, arriving in Western Europe every year at 120,000. The latter figure includes both women from the CEEC and those coming from Africa (Nigeria), Asia (including Central Asia - Osh in Kyrgyzstan is a crossroads for this traffic) and Latin America (Brazil). Some state that this number might increase rapidly, with the war in Iraq.
81. Although in the early 1990s Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary acted as "suppliers" alongside Russia and Ukraine, they have since become transit and destination points. In this they join the countries of the European Union, of course, but also Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where the presence of foreign troops provides a substantial market and continues to make a substantial contribution to the traffic.
82. According to the IOM and EUROPOL, the principal supplier countries today are Moldova (up to 80% - many Moldovan villages do not have any more women), Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. The networks used various routes, including:
* the route that passes through Romania, Serbia (see the five or so "women markets" in Belgrade and the Novi-Sad trading centre), Bosnia and Herzegovina (see the Brcko Arizona market), Croatia and Austria and thence to the Czech Republic, Poland and Scandinavia, or to Germany, France and the United Kingdom;
* the route that passes through Kosovo, Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (see the village of Veledze, the regional centre of prostitution) and Montenegro, then through Italy.
83. Thus of the 500,000 women who are victims of criminal networks across the world every year (see Chapter 1, B.c.), 200,000 pass through the Balkans, a situation denounced in particular at the international conference on organised crime held in London last November (see the London Declaration of 27 November 2002). Of these 200,000 women, some 80,000 are destined for the markets in the Middle East, Asia and North America. According to a study in 2002 by the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, human trafficking now brings in more than heroin trafficking.
84. The Albanian mafia has set up a real cartel on prostitution. It handles more than 65% of the trafficking in women in the Balkans; in the Schengen area it has set itself up on a permanent basis in Italy, France, Belgium and Great Britain. In France over 60% of prostitutes are foreign, 35% of them coming from the CEEC and the Balkans; in Brussels and Antwerp Albanian gangs have done battle with Turks and Kurds to take over the 'knocking shops'; in the Soho quarter of London, the police recently estimated that these gangs controlled about 75% of prostitution - and that over 18 million euros, the fruits of this exploitation, were sent to Albania every year.
85. Although steps are taken by capitals in an attempt to curb this phenomenon (in London, for example, the authorities have improved the street lighting and re-routed the traffic in Tooting and King's Cross to discourage the clients), they merely move the problem elsewhere and instead emphasise the embarrassment of Western countries faced with a situation on a scale that overwhelms them, the more, , s, o because this phenomenon takes advantage of disparities between national legislations and the barriers between legal proceedings, and because Europe is still divided between regulationists (for whom prostitution is a necessary evil that should be controlled - the Netherlands and Germany, where prostitution is legalised) and abolitionists (for whom prostitution is incompatible with human dignity - Sweden in particular) (see François Loncle, "Western Europe, the procurer of women from the East", Le Monde diplomatique, November 2001).
86. The European Union is aiming to reinforce the campaign against criminal rings, both with EUROPOL and with EUROJUST, the central legal co-operation network, by promoting the formation of common investigation teams. Moreover, a Framework-Decision on combating human trafficking was adopted by the JHA Council in July 2002, which is to be transposed into member States before 1 August 2004. This Framework-Decision contains a common definition of human trafficking for the purposes of exploitation at work or for sexual exploitation, and provides that the maximum custodial sentence shall not be less than eight years.
87. Following the example of Helga Conrad, the chair of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe task force on human trafficking, your Rapporteur takes the view that it is essential to tackle the causes of trafficking in women and children (destitution, discrimination, violence, etc.) in the countries of origin and to continue to develop appropriate preventive measures there (such as information campaigns aimed at increasing the awareness of potential victims, criminal law practitioners, NGOs, etc., set up as part of the European Commission's DAPHNE programme).
88. Although the pursuit of dealers clearly seems essential (see the Special Trafficking Operations Programme, STOP, run by the United Nations civilian police in Bosnia and Herzegovina), the granting in the countries of destination of true victim status, which can both protect prostitutes and enable them to be reinstated in society, is also vital. The suitable legal handling of the phenomena connected with human trafficking is inseparable from participation by the victims in the judicial process, which involves their protection, taking responsibility for humanitarian and administrative services and their reintegration (see the draft law strengthening the campaign against forms of modern slavery adopted on 24 January 2002 by the French National Assembly, or again, in Italy, the recent law aimed at granting asylum to women who are victims of the networks, whether or not they give evidence against the traffickers).
89. In the light of the above, it is clear that organised crime cannot be fought by the traditional repressive means alone. States have to take a fresh look at their crime-fighting machinery, both on the internal and on the international scale, already overloaded by handling day-to-day crime and whose operating costs are increasing substantially in time, procedures, personnel and resources. States must seek solutions involving far-reaching changes, the aim not being simply to punish the individual but to dismantle the criminal organisation to which he belongs and to seize the profits that it has gained through its illegal activities.
90. In your Rapporteur's opinion, such an undertaking presupposes devoting more substantial resources to the services responsible for law and order, nationally, at the European level and at the international level; giving them the resources to acquire the telecommunications equipment and technologies comparable with those used by the criminal networks; and eliminating the administrative and bureaucratic bottlenecks that may impede proper international co-operation between police forces and between legal systems.
91. This presupposes the enhancement of intelligence gathering and sharing, all the more important because the difficulties of policemen in identifying their targets are more and more acute, and because there are many cases in which the collection of data spread over several continents is the only means of curbing the activities of certain gangs.
92. More specifically, this presupposes that informal bilateral contacts between law enforcement agencies continue to be encouraged in the interests of achieving more rapid action. This presupposes the full use of EUROPOL and INTERPOL in their respective areas of activity, and consequently funding them as they should be funded; at most, INTERPOL's annual budget (28 million dollars in 2002) is only equivalent to the price of a few vessels or aircraft used by traffickers. This implies that we should also draw on other international bodies such as the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the OECD, the "Lyon Group" and the United Nations, and implement the conventions in this field that are already available (see, in particular, the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime ratified by 147 States, which should be entering into force as the present report is being updated).
93. Lastly, this presupposes that we hit the networks in their "vital parts", i.e. by depriving them of those financial resources that give them the means to establish their prestige, to continue their activities and to buy and corrupt leaders, officials, businessmen and ordinary citizens.
* Turkey recognises the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name.