An Analysis of Trafficking and Terrorism Policy in Iran, Canada, and France

Human Trafficking petition hand in
Human Trafficking petition hand in (Photo credit: 38 Degrees)
By Elizabeth Hall

In the world of transnational crime, it is important to know how other countries deal with crime in their national policies.  Reichel (2008) notes that governments operate under several different models, which have classifications of centralized, decentralized and controlled, or decentralized and uncontrolled.  They are further classified as being single, or multiple coordinated styles of government (Reichel, 2008).  In this essay, we will look at these types of these governmental models that are functional in three countries, Iran, Canada, and France, and how they deal with terrorism and trafficking crimes under their systems. 
Reichel (2008) identifies Iran as operating under a single centralized government, with the Islamic Revolution of Iran operating at the national police force for the entire country, made up of thirty-one provinces.  
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The CIA (2012) identifies in The World Factbook that the style of legal tradition that they follow is a religious tradition based on Sharia Law.  They have an executive branch headed by the chief of state, which a life appointment, and is the primary religious leader, currently filled by Ali Hoseni-Khamenei. Within this branch, there is also a President, currently filled by Mahmud Ahmadi Nejad, and a Cabinet consisting of the Council of Ministers (CIA, 2012). 
Also in the Executive Branch, notes the CIA (2012) are three groups that function as oversight entities, the Assembly of Experts, the Expediency Council, and the Council of Guardians.  The Assembly of Experts main function is the decisions on who the Supreme Leader is, and the Expediency Council is concerned with supervising the legislative, judicial, and executive branches, intervening when there is discernment.  The main function of the Council of Guardians is to ensure that legislation fulfills obligations to both the constitution and the Islamic Faith.  Iran also has a Legislative Branch of Government that operates as the “unicameral Consultive Assembly”, and a Judicial Branch that contains a Supreme Court and a “High Council of the Judiciary” (CIA, 2012). 
Map of Iran & Borders with former Soviet Repub...
Map of Iran & Borders with former Soviet Republics of Armenia, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
          Trafficking in Narcotics
Although Iran’s primary stance on narcotics is harsh, they have a serious problem with narcotics trafficking and use in the country (Beehner, 2006).  This is because of their location in proximity to Afghanistan, which has a very large opium trade.  Coincidentally this is the drug of choice for Iranian addicts.  Statistics show that the majority of addicts are addicted to opium, heroin, or drugs like ecstasy, but the most trafficked drug is heroin.  In the 1980’s the policy for drug trafficking was death, and zero tolerance policies, this changed to a more focused look on rehabilitation and preventing these crimes during the time when President Khatami held the office.  Currently under President Ahmadinejad, the position has reversed back to zero tolerance policy, and traffickers and users alike imprisoned.  Most of this, addressed by the Drug Control Headquarters and the Interior Ministry, happens while they face pressures to secure their borders from other countries based on their location to the drug corridor.  Beehner (2006) notes that there are roughly 68,000/32,000 respectively in prison for trafficking and narcotics use.
        Trafficking in Persons
Iran seems to have no laws in place to protect, investigate, or prosecute in matters of trafficking in persons as noted by the CIA (2012).  It seems that Iran is a transit and drop off area for persons involved in trafficking in persons. When considering governmental control, it is their policy to incarcerate or turn away Iranian victims, and deport foreign victims after detention period.  In fact, this is a problem to the extent that both Afghan and Iranian children are trafficked without impediment internally for many reasons including slavery, prostitution, even using trafficked children for debt settlement or forced marriages within the community (CIA, 2012). 
Zionism equals terrorism
Zionism equals terrorism (Photo credit: Cecilia...)
         International Terrorism
Iran is known to have ties to Hezbollah, Hamas, and Al Qaeda, and the Taliban according to Bruno (2011), and have supported terrorist actions in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon currently.  They have also had ties with what is going in Syria by supplying governmental groups with weapons to control the population against them.  President Ahmadinejad has stated that he wants to “blow Israel off the map”.  This type of support, as noted by Bruno (2011) is run through Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Quds forces in the country. 

Freedom Movement of Iran
Freedom Movement of Iran (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
        Domestic Terrorism
Internally there are also domestic terrorists that are repressed in the country.  These are groups such as The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, People’s Fedayeen, Freedom Movement of Iran, and the National Front (CIA, 2012).  At the same time, there are groups that are allowed to operate freely and with impunity.  These groups include Ansar-e-Hizballah, the Islamic Coalition Party, and the Tehran Military Clergy Association (CIA, 2012)
The Canadian legal system follows the common law tradition with the single exception of Quebec, which 
English: Joint service seal of the Canadian Fo...
English: Joint service seal of the Canadian Forces. Based on Image:Canadian Army Flag.svg Deutsch: Wappne der Kanadische Streitkräfte (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
follows the civil tradition (CIA, 2012).  Canada also represents a multiple coordinated legal system, but unlike France, is decentralized.  This means that they have forces at the municipal, (Local), Provincial (State), and Federal levels of government that provide models of control and supervisory services at every level (Reichert, 2008).  The Executive Branch is made up of the head of state, which is currently Queen Elizabeth II, the Prime Minister, and the Cabinet (CIA, 2012).
  The Legislative Branch consists of the bicameral Parliament, which holds both House and Senate, and the House of Commons.  The Judicial Branch has many departments such as the Supreme Court, Federal Court, and Federal Court of Appeal of Canada.  It also contains Tax Courts, Provincial Courts of Appeal, Court of Queen’s Bench, Superior Court, Supreme Court of Canada, and the Court of Justice (CIA, 2012).  Canada has a total of ten provinces, along with three other Canadian Controlled territories. 
Trafficking in Narcotics
The Canadians have issues with marijuana and ecstasy, with large hydroponic growing stations supplying the United States with this drug, but have noticed more activity concerning cocaine and its derivative products (CIA, 2012 and Parliament of Canada, 2003).  There has been a notable increase in the ecstasy 
drug trafficking
drug trafficking (Photo credit: Josep PC)
business as well in the country.  A major problem in Canada is money laundering of the financial gains from the illicit drug trades due to the age and structure of their financial institutions.  Canadians take the same approach that the United States does, with the exception that they are more focused on rehabilitation and users.  In 1996, they adopted Bill C-8, which is aimed at controlling the trafficking of these substances along with the use.  Bill C-24 allows for law enforcement to have more tools at their discretion to go against organized criminal behavior (Parliament of Canada, 2003). 

Trafficking In Persons Report Map 2010
Trafficking In Persons Report Map 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
       Trafficking in Persons
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), 2011 notes that Canada is another ending point, supply spot, and transfer point for trafficking in persons.  Victims of this crime have originated from everywhere including China, Philippines, Fiji, Romania, and Bulgaria to name a few places.  Canada is responding to this with increased investigation, prosecution, and legislation to combat the problem.  Canada seems to be a haven for sex tourism, and the penalty for just participating in this as a tourist is a 14-year sentence.  This country is currently working on further legislation to combat crimes such as these (UNHCR, 2011). 
        International Terrorism
The Public Safety Office (2012) holds that the Canadian policies on terrorism maintain that the 
Standing Committee on Public Safety and Nation...
Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (Photo credit: The Advocacy Project)
implementation of counter-terrorism mechanisms involves prevention, detection, denial of access, and responding to any incidents promptly.  The country response is based on a case-by-case basis.  The main focus on international terrorism is on Islamic Extremism, and the threat posed by the doctrines they follow.  Border security is important in their prevention efforts, and all facets of agencies, security, law enforcement, and the military all have departments concerned with this issue, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) enduring the most of the responsibility (Public Safety Office, 2012). 
       Domestic Terrorism

Advancing Against Al Qaeda
Advancing Against Al Qaeda (Photo credit: Third Way)
Domestic terrorism is prosecuted and investigated the same way that international terrorism is handled (Hoyle, n.d.).  The difference is in the perpetrators, as they are either radicalized Muslims that have become that way through sympathizing with international ideologies such as that of Al Qaeda, or they are of the ecological, white supremacy, and/or labor related groups.  The first recognized incident of domestic terrorism in Canada happened in 1970 when radicals wished for the total separation of government between French speaking Quebec and the rest of Canada.   The government has made the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency responsible for assessing threats and has made a complete unit called the Threat Assessment Unit for disseminating this information (Hoyle, n.d.).

France also operates under a centralized multiple coordinated system, which follows the civil legal tradition (Reichel, 2008).  This system has many agencies, all falling under an overlapping authority scenario, within twenty-seven regions.  The Executive branch is comprised of the chief of state, the prime minister, and the cabinet.  The Legislative branch is comprised of a senate and a National Assembly, and the Judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Constitutional Council.  These twenty-seven regions are comprised of the main borders of the country, plus Corsica, and five other overseas areas, including French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion, as noted by the CIA (2012). 
English: Pierre-Yves Quiviger, French legal ph...
English: Pierre-Yves Quiviger, French legal philosopher (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Trafficking in Narcotics
In France, until the 1990’s illicit drug use and trafficking were serious offenses in the country punishable by incarceration.  In the 90’s decade policy changed to treatment instead of incarceration for the addicts, however a certificate from a rehabilitation center is necessary to remain out of incarceration up to a year (Parliament of Canada, 2001).  The law as relating to trafficking in illegal narcotics is based on the Law of 1970, however has been amended several times since then to reflect the desire to suppress the trafficking of these substances.  The main sources of code, regarding this issue comes from the Code of Public Health, the Penal Code, and the goals of repression of trafficking, and the French have enacted many new offenses dealing with trafficking.  These include selling, supplying, and money laundering connected to narcotics, along with incarceration for five years and a fine of 500,000 francs when it is for personal use.  Outside of personal use, large scale trafficking, nets you a fine of 50 million Francs and ten years incarceration.  Leading an organization that supplies, manufactures, imports, exports, or has anything to do with organized trafficking lands you a life sentence and fines equal to 50 million francs (Parliament of Canada, 2001).
        Trafficking in Persons
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) (2011) maintains that France is both a destination and a point on the route used to transport persons that are victims of trafficking.  Despite this, France is a Tier 1 country regarding government response to the offense, as they fully comply with the minimal standards to persecute and control the issue.  The Trafficking of persons falls under the Article 225-4-2.  Anti-Pimping Laws also a heavily relied on by the justice system.  Sentencing can fall between two to thirty years depending on the circumstances (UNHCR, 2011).
        International Terrorism
Plaque in memory of the victims of the 1980 Pa...
Plaque in memory of the victims of the 1980 Paris synagogue bombing at No 24 Rue Copernic, Paris 16th. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dutheillet de Lamonde, Olivier, (2006) who is a member of the Constitutional Council in France, notes that the French were actually the first to have to deal with international terrorism on their home soil, due to the attack of 1986.  Because of this, France seems to be ahead of the curve when it comes to terrorism response, and they take a completely different approach to the matter.  Instead of the incidents carrying the label of acts of war, the French government deals with this problem with a judicial manner, enacting and changing the laws that apply to terroristic attacks as needed to apply to the individual situation.   This is applied as a special part of criminal law to them, and they have prosecutors who specialize in these types of cases.  Another difference is that the jury in terrorism cases is not comprised of regular people, as in normal cases, but instead completely of Magistrates.  Dutheillet de Lamonde, Olivier, (2006) contends that this allows for a better tracking system because it fosters better communication between the law enforcement community and the judicial community. 
        Domestic Terrorism
OAS (Organisation armée secrète) underground o...
OAS (Organisation armée secrète) underground organization emblem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The situation in France as noted by the South Asia Analysis Group (2007) on domestic terrorism in France besides the Basque groups and the Corsicans, are largely comprised of Muslims.  It would seem that this would fall under international terrorism; however, the issues of this group are the same as other domestic terrorists.  They include poverty, unemployment, and the feeling that Islam is disrespected there.  This is caused by anger increasing in the Muslim communities of Europe, and legislation written directly against their Islamic customs such as banning the traditional headscarves worn by these populations (South Asia Analysis Group (2007).
Although terrorism, and trafficking issues are present in all countries, it is evident that the governmental style and legal tradition of the country plays an important role in how the country deals with transnational crime.  We have discussed major differences in how three countries, Iran, Canada, and France who all follow different legal traditions and policing structure differences, and all have differences in the way they handle these crimes.  For instance, Iran is a terrorist sponsor state, while both Canada and France have legislation concerning anti-terrorism and counter terrorism measures that deal specifically with the types of groups that Iran sponsors.  It seems that the adage stands true, that the definition of a terrorist depends on which side of the dispute you are on, meaning that today’s terrorists are viewed as freedom fighters in the areas they originate from.  Trafficking in persons seems to be a problem in all countries studied however; the stance on legislation varies dramatically between systems, some of which condone the practice.  Trafficking in illegal narcotics seems to be illegal everywhere, but some countries are more lax than others are in the regulation and prosecution of the crime. 

Beehner, L. (2006) Afghanistan’s Role in Iran’s Drug Problem.  Council on Foreign Relations.  Retrieved From: http://www.cfr.org/iran/afghanistans-role-irans-drug-problem/p11457#p7
Bruno, G., (2011).  State Sponsors: Iran.  Council on Foreign Relations.  Retrieved From: http://www.cfr.org/iran/state-sponsors-iran/p9362#p5
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), (2012).  The World Factbook. Middle East: Iran Retrieved From: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.htm
Dutheillet de Lamonde, Olivier, (2006).  French Legislation against Terrorism.  Written by a Member of the Constitutional Council.  Retrieved From: http://www.conseil-constitutionnel.fr/conseil-constitutionnel/root/bank_mm/pdf/Conseil/constitutionalterrorism.pdf
Hoyle, B. (n.d.).  Espionage Encyclopedia: Canada, Counter-Terrorism Policy.  Retrieved From: http://www.faqs.org/espionage/Bl-Ch/Canada-Counter-Terrorism-Policy.html#b
Parliament of Canada, (2001).  National Drug Policy: France.  Retrieved From: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/371/ille/library/france-e.htm
Parliament of Canada, (2003).  Illegal Drugs and Drug Trafficking.  Retrieved From: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublications/bp435-e.htm
Public Safety Office, (2012).  Building Resistance Against Terrorism: Canada’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  Retrieved From: http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/prg/ns/2012-cts-eng.aspx
Reichel, P.J., (2008).  Comparative Criminal Justice Systems: A Topical Approach, Fifth Edition.  Prentice Pearson United States.  ISBN 0-558-98506-8
South Asia Analysis Group (2007).  France: Homegrown, Externally Inspired Intifada - International Terrorism Monitor---Paper No. 315.  Retrieved From: http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers25%5Cpaper2480.html
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), (2011).  2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Canada.  Retrieved From: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4e12ee8c50.html
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), (2011).  2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: France.  Retrieved From: http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,,,FRA,4562d8b62,4fc75a9d73,0.html

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1 comment:

  1. Wow, great article, I really appreciate your thought process and having it explained properly, thank you!

    Jay Weinstein Seattle


All comments and feedback appreciated!

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