U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Application of the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime by States Parties with Respect to Criminal Offences Against Cultural Property

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2012
10 pages
This report reviews measures being taken by United Nations (UN) member states in enacting criminal laws against cultural property under the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.
When surveying member states, many indicated that they did not have specific criminal legislation that protects cultural property; however some countries prosecute the theft of cultural property under the general criminal code without reference to the properties nature and value. Still, many countries reported that they had enacted stringent and precise offenses for trafficking in cultural property, with strict penalties prescribed. Efforts to criminalize the theft of cultural property are noted for the countries of Algeria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Madagascar, Norway, and the United States. Activities are also reported on international cooperation, including mutual legal assistance and extradition. Although a broad framework of international cooperation exists for criminal investigations of various types of serious crimes, many countries do not generally apply it to cases that involve trafficking in cultural property. Features of international cooperation are reported for Algeria, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, and the United States. The report recommends that the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime request the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to continue promotion of the Organized Crime Convention to combat trafficking in cultural property and to provide technical assistance, particularly regarding international cooperation in this effort.


No download available