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The Organised Crime Index - Africa 2019

The Organised Crime Index - Africa 2019

by Kudzai Chinoda -
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Lives are lost, forests and oceans are pillaged beyond the point of replenishment, animals are slaughtered, women, men, girls and boys are held in situations of violent abuse and exploitation. Customs officials receive bribes to turn their backs to a shipment of drugs. Police officers and soldiers sell their weapons on to street gangs. Politicians accept kickbacks, fix contracts and sell concessions to criminal groups and unethical corporations, so that they can profit from resources that were intended to improve the development opportunities of citizensThe harms caused by organised crime are widespread and profound Yet because it is almost always obscured in the 'underworld', hidden in the shadows of remote borderlands, concealed in secrecy jurisdictions or felt most keenly by underserved communities, organised crime is a threat too easily overlooked'Organised crime' is not a term that has tended to be used in the African contextHowever, as the political economy of the continent is evolving and intertwining with other geopolitical and globalisation dynamics, the term is currently being applied to the continent with increasing frequency – and urgency It describes everything from a range of illicit activities and actors, from human smuggling by militia groups along the North African coast, to the consorts and cronies aligned with heads of stateThis Organised Crime Index is published as an integral part of the EU-funded ENACT programme –Enhancing Africa’s Response to Transnational Organised Crime, which is implemented by a consortium comprising the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), INTERPOL and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) ENACT undertakes in-depth research at continental, regional and national levels, publishes studies, policy briefs and short observers to monitor organised-crime trends, and works to engage policymakers, and build the capacity of practitioners and enforcement officials. The ENACT programme aims to encourage international and regional communities to move away from a solely criminal-justice-led response to organised crime, and towards a more comprehensive package of policies that can help mitigate the impact of organised crime, build local resilience and limit incentives for market participants The Organised Crime Index is a critical part of this endeavour Its objective is to catalyse a dialogue, offer a common nomenclature and framework for understanding the challenge, help focus the agenda on urgent priorities and provide guidance on how to respond8ORGANISED CRIME INDEX-AFRICA 2019No index could do justice to a topic as complex and multifaceted as organised crime, which encompasses so many forms of illegal and illicit behaviour, with such profound implications Neither would it be constructive or meaningful as a tool for policymakers and practitioners to present organised crime redacted down to a single numberFor that reason, the model we have created is complex, and is based on two leading components: criminality and resilienceNo state or community experiences organised crime in the same way They have different vulnerabilities, and different sources of institutional strengthA primary innovation of the ENACT Organised Crime Index, therefore, is to bring the concepts of criminality and resilience together, to offer a model that provides a nuanced picture of criminality, describing ten criminal markets and four criminal actor types, and to parallel that with an assessment of 12 indicators of resilience, forming the pillars of a holistic resilience approach that countries need to respond to organised crime effective.

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