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1 United Nations
The United Nations takes various actions to reduce the loss in human resources and materials due to crimes and their impact on social and economic development, as well as to promote the implementation of U.N. standards and rules on criminal justice.
The U.N. Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (Congress; the present title is the "Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice"), which was approved by the U.N. General Assembly in 1950 and was designed for proposing policies and exchanging opinions in various fields of criminal justice, has been held every five years since the First Congress in 1955. The 11th Congress was held in Bangkok in April 2005 and adopted the "Bangkok Declaration," under which member states reconfirmed their intention to improve international cooperation on measures against crimes and terrorism with regard to the field including extradition of criminals and judicial cooperation, and called for each country's efforts to fight against organized crimes, terrorism, corruption, and economic/financial crimes, etc.
As a subsidiary body of the Economic and Social Council, the "Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice" was established in 1992. The Commission engaged in formulating policies for the U.N. in the field of criminal justice has been held once a year in Vienna. Japan has been elected as a member of the Commission and has participated in its activities since its foundation.
(2) Measures against drug-related crimes
Following the "Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961" and the "Convention on Psychotropic Drugs," the "U.N. Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances" was adopted by the U.N. in December 1998. Japan has ratified these conventions and developed corresponding domestic acts. At the same time, Japan has actively participated in international cooperation in the field of international fights against drug-related crimes, which has been undertaken mainly by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
(3) Measures against transnational organized crimes
At the U.N. General Assembly in 2000, the "U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime" was adopted. The Convention requires each country to criminalize conspiracy in serious crimes, participation in criminal activities by an organized crime group, money laundering, and bribery and corruption, and also provides the regulations for confiscation of crime proceeds and international cooperation to that end, extradition of offenders involved in organized crimes, and protection of witnesses. In Japan, the conclusion of this Convention was approved by the Diet in May 2003, but has not been realized as the related domestic acts have not been enacted.
The "Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children" (Human Trafficking Protocol), the "Protocol Against Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air" (Smuggling Protocol), and the "Protocol Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, their Parts and Components and Ammunition" (Firearms Protocol), which supplement the Convention, were adopted by the U.N. General Assembly by 2001. The conclusion of the Human Trafficking Protocol and the Smuggling Protocol was approved by the Diet on June 8, 2005 (Both Protocols have not been concluded as the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime has not yet been concluded). As a national collateral act, the "Act for Partial Amendment to the Penal Code, etc. (Act No. 66 of 2005)," which contains the establishment of punishment for human trafficking, etc., was enacted on June 16 and was partially put into force on July 12, 2005 (partially on December 10, and December 22, 2005; partially not yet enforced).
(4) Measures against crimes involving women and children
The "Convention on the Rights of the Child" was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 1989 and Japan ratified it in 1994 under the approval of the Diet. In 2000, the "Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography," and "Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict" were also adopted by the U.N. General Assembly. In Japan, the conclusion of the protocols was approved by the Diet in April 2004. Among them, Japan ratified the "Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict" in August, and it came into force in September 2004. Furthermore, Japan ratified the "Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography" in January, and it came into effect in February 2005. As a national collateral act, the "Act for Partial Amendment to the Act for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and for Protecting Children" (Act No. 106 of 2004) was enacted on June 11 and was put into force on July 8, 2004.
(5) Measures against bribery and corruption
The "U.N. Convention against Corruption" was adopted at the U.N. General Assembly in October 2003, which requires each country to criminalize bribery to foreign public officials etc. and constructs the framework for recovery of proceeds gained by corruption to the country from which they originated. In Japan, the conclusion of the convention was approved by the Diet on June 2, 2006.
(6) Measures against terrorism
As measures to prevent terrorism, the U.N. has adopted various international conventions to ensure punishment of terrorists in any country. In 1999, the "International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism" was adopted at the U.N. General Assembly. Japan concluded it in June 2002 and has concluded all the "12 Counterterrorism Conventions." Since the multi-concurrent terrorist attacks in the U.S. in September 2001, there has been a movement to amend existing Counterterrorism Conventions. In July 2005, the International Atomic Energy Agency adopted the amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material," and on October 10, the International Maritime Organization adopted the "Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation" and the amended protocol of the "Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf." In April 2005, another Counterterrorism Convention, the "International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism" (provisional title) was adopted at the U.N. General Assembly, and Japan signed it in September 2005.