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    MOSCOW, March 18, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The International Affairs Committee in the State Duma, or Russia's lower house of parliament, has recommended for ratification the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its two supplementary protocols, on smuggling of migrants and on human trafficking.

    As committee spokespersons told the RIA news agency, the Convention at hand was signed in December 2002 by forty-one member nations, including Russia, and went into effect in September 2003.

    The Convention and its protocols create a regulatory framework for international efforts to detect, prevent, investigate and solve dangerous crimes affecting the interests of more than one member country, the officials explained.

    None of the effective international agreements on cooperation in combating organized crime has an area of application as wide as the UN Convention's, the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee points out. The Convention sets forth, amongst other things, types of mutual legal aid, conditions for the extradition of crime suspects, and options for cooperation between member states' law-enforcement agencies.

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