The North America Strategic Platform on Organized Crime is a collaborative initiative led by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GI-TOC) in partnership with the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy.

The Platform aims to address the evolving challenges posed by transnational organized crime (TOC) in the North American context, with a primary focus on Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Through the development of rigorous research and analysis, a network, and executive education opportunities, the platform will contribute to a deeper understanding of TOC dynamics in the region and inform policy responses to combat illicit activities.

Recognizing the changing nature of TOC challenges, the need for timely and policy-relevant research on this topic, as well as the urgency for heightened collaboration between academia and government, the Platform has set forth the following objectives:

  • Monitor, document, investigate, and analyze the evolving landscape of organized crime in the region to identify and research emerging trends, monitor the hubs, routes, and flows of illicit markets, key actors, stakeholders, and TOC groups involved, and assess the implications of such activities in North America and globally.
  • Bridge the gap between academics and practitioners through the facilitation of conferences, workshops, and networking events.
  • Establish a network of experts, academics and practitioners to facilitate collaboration, information exchange, and strategic dialogue among stakeholders.
  • Contribute to informed policy discussions by providing rigorous research and analysis.
  • Provide bespoke executive education opportunities, including immersive expert-led training courses, aimed at professionals and organizations seeking to deepen their understanding of various facets of organized crime, such as human trafficking, anti-money laundering and illicit financial flows.

The official launch of the initiative was held on April 16th at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy. Attended by a diverse assembly of over 30 participants, ranging from esteemed academics to professionals from the private and public sector, the launch event served as a pivotal moment to unveil the initiative’s purpose and forthcoming endeavours.

At the core of the Platform’s inaugural agenda lies a comprehensive series of reports about the pressing challenges posed by TOC in the region. These reports will delve into critical and timely issues, including the role of Ontario’s Highway 401 as a conduit for the movement of illicit commodities into and out of Canada, the role of the port of Vancouver in facilitating drug trafficking to lucrative markets in Australia and New Zealand, the proliferation of the illicit synthetic drug market in North America, and more.