The Global Organized Crime Index 2021
The Global Organized Crime Index is the first tool of its kind designed to assess levels of organized crime and resilience to organized criminal activity. It includes in its rankings all the UN member states – 193 countries. The results, which draw from a comprehensive dataset informed by experts worldwide, paint a worrying picture of the reach, scale and impact of organized crime.
It is a sobering thought, for instance, that nearly 80% of the world’s population today live in countries with high levels of criminality. It is equally alarming to consider that the exploitation of people, in the form of human trafficking, has become the most pervasive criminal economy in the world – a development that serves as a dark reminder of the dehumanizing impact of organized crime.
Meanwhile, the Index highlights how state involvement in criminality is a deeply embedded phenomenon around the world: state officials and clientelist networks who hold influence over state authorities are now the most dominant brokers of organized crime, and not cartel leaders or mafia bosses, as one might be forgiven for thinking. And these are but a few stand-out examples of the findings of this Index.
This report introduces the Global Organized Crime Index and sets out the results and implications of the 2020 data, the year in which a new pandemic began to ravage the world. Of course, organized crime is not a new phenomenon, but it is now a more urgent issue than ever. Criminal networks and their impact have spread across the globe in the last two decades, driven by geopolitical, economic and technological forces. The analysis in this report conclusively demonstrates that organized crime is the most pernicious threat to human security, development and justice in the world today.