Winter School on Illicit Trade

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Overview

Money laundering. Terrorist financing. Drug trafficking. Arms smuggling. Illicit trafficking of wildlife, human body parts, and ancient historical artifacts. Tax havens. Proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Oil bunkering. Human smuggling and the modern-day slave trade. Conflict minerals and blood diamonds. These are not just abstract terms, but billion-dollar globalized industries that are part of the world’s globally interconnected economy and which overlap with and exacerbate terrorism, wars and conflicts, corruption, authoritarianism, the decline of the natural environment and other contemporary security threats.

With these considerations in mind, the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) and the University of Groningen (UG) organize the second edition of the Winter School on Illicit Trade, which will be delivered online, from 24 to 27 January 2022.

The Winter School pierces the veil of secrecy around issues related to the dark side of globalization and teaches participants about illicit financing and trading. Now in its second edition, this exciting course is the first of its kind in teaching illicit trade in a holistic and practically useful way. Participants will learn how criminals set up offshore companies and bank accounts; how they obscure the beneficial ownership of assets; how they exploit the loop-holes of dual-use goods legal systems, and identify vulnerabilities in particular institutions, countries, and jurisdictions. The Winter School includes academic and practical learning about illicit finance, trafficking, and trade, and expert examination into strategies and practices about how to combat illicit trade.

More specifically, the course curriculum will include the following topics:

  • Illicit trade: relevant definitions, types and actors involved
  • The global governance of illicit trade
  • Features and consequences of illicit trade
  • Illicit trade in illegal goods, with case examples of trafficking in humans, narcotics, and endangered wildlife
  • Export control and dual-use goods
  • Terrorist financing, illicit finance, offshore finance, and money laundering
  • Ethical, political, legal and practical challenges in dealing with illicit trade
  • The role of the Darknet and the Internet
  • Open source intelligence techniques (OSINT): from the surface to the deep and dark web
  • Techniques of investigation and network analysis of illicit trade

The Winter School offers professional, legal, social, scientific and academic perspectives through live webinars, group discussions, dynamic case studies, individual readings, and practical exercises. The faculty is composed of leading scholars and academics from the University of Groningen and other universities, as well as international legal experts from the United Nations system, international and non-governmental organizations, and civil society.

Through a dedicated online platform, participants will have the opportunity to interact with internationally recognized experts and peers from all over the world, so as to build lasting professional relationships. This experience fosters intercultural dialogue and promotes a deeper understanding of the most salient issues faced by the international community related to illicit trade.

Requirements

The Winter School is designed for final year in the undergraduate studies, masters students, PhD students in Law, Political Science, International Relations, Economics, Social Science and other relevant disciplines, who are interested in learning more about illicit trade. It is also addressed to professionals working in governmental institutions, local authorities, international and non-governmental organizations seeking to deepen their understanding of current illicit trade issues.

A very good working knowledge of English is required.

Applications from students who expect to graduate from their Bachelor’s studies at the end of the 2022/23 academic year will also be considered.

Course Methodology

This course is delivered online. It combines live webinars in our virtual classroom, led by subject matter experts, with self-paced activities and interactive group discussions.

The live webinars are from 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm CET time (9:00 am – 1:00 pm EST), from Monday to Thursday. This is to create a 12-hours cycle during which participants and practitioners can attend the classes, plan their workload to a time that is most suitable, and interact with other participants to complete the assignments.

The live webinars are conducted on a dedicated online platform. Participants need a computer (recommended) or a mobile device with microphone, audio and video capabilities, as well as a reliable internet connection. We recommend accessing audio through the computer. No special software is required. Upon acceptance to the course, participants will be provided with the information to access the platform.

Certificate of Attendance and ECTS Equivalence

Upon attendance of all live webinars and completion of the course activities and assignments, participants will receive a United Nations and University of Groningen certificate of participation.

Upon successful completion of the programme, participants can apply for recognition of 3 ECTS to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. Participants who wish to fulfil the equivalent work of 3 ECTS will need to deliver a written assignment to the University of Groningen within one month after the end of the Winter School. More detailed information can be requested at illicittrade@rug.nl.

Fee information

€ 500

Course fee includes: - Enrollment and participation in the Online course [Each day will contain a 4-hour schedule from 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm CET time (9:00 am – 1:00 pm EST)] - Electronic training material

How to register

To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Please note that you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • CV (max. 2 pages)
  • Letter of motivation (max. 1 page)

Deadline for application: 9 January 2022

However, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Due to the online format and our objective of offering participants an engaging learning environment, there will be a maximum amount of 30 participants. Once this limit has been reached, applications will no longer be accepted.