Daan P. Van Uhm

Daan P. Van Uhm
Utrecht University | UU · School of Law

PhD

About

78
Publications
45,282
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886
Citations
Citations since 2016
71 Research Items
878 Citations
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Introduction
Dr. Daan P. van Uhm is Associate Professor of Criminology at Utrecht University. He conducts research on environmental crimes, including wildlife trafficking, illegal mining, deforestation and timber trade. He received his PhD on illegal wildlife trade in 2016 at Utrecht University, the Veni grant (NWO) for research on the diversification of organized crime into environmental crime in 2018 and the ERC Starting grant for research on green crimes and laundering natural resources in 2022.

Publications

Publications (78)
Chapter
The profitability of illegal forest crimes is increasingly attracting sophisticated crime groups – including militias and corporate criminals. This chapter focuses on the complex relationships and interactions between militia groups and timber and charcoal traders. The case of the illegal timber and charcoal trade in the Democratic Republic of the...
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The rising global scarcity of natural resources increasingly attracts transnational criminal organizations. Organized crime syndicates diversify into the lucrative business of tropical timber, endangered species, and natural minerals, alongside their traditional activities. The developing interconnectedness between environmental crime and other ser...
Article
This chapter focuses on the interrelationship between atrocity crimes and anthropogenic environmental degradation. The environment as cause, tool, and victim of armed conflict will be discussed and the interpretation of the environment in the context of the three categories of mass atrocity crimes under the Rome Statute—genocide, crimes against hum...
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This chapter focuses on the interrelationship between atrocity crimes and anthropogenic environmental degradation. The environment as cause, tool, and victim of armed conflict will be discussed and the interpretation of the environment in the context of the three categories of mass atrocity crimes under the Rome Statute—genocide, crimes against hum...
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This contribution describes, building on ethnographic data, how illegal tobacco trade in Europe is organised and how law enforcement praxis in different EU countries impacts on this trade. With a (still) substantial demand for cheap cigarettes, low moral objections, favourable trade conditions, enhanced technology and relatively high profits and lo...
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Whilst drug trafficking has been a concern for several decades, wildlife trafficking has only fairly recently garnered international attention. Often media coverage of wildlife trafficking links it to the illegal trade of drugs. This article analyses wildlife and drug trafficking connections of various kinds. The purpose is to reveal the overlaps a...
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The illegal wildlife trade has increasingly been linked to organized crime in recent years. In particular, Chinese crime groups seem to be major players in more organized forms of this trade. This article examines the involvement of Chinese organized crime groups in the trade of wildlife in the borderlands of the Golden Triangle. We will discuss th...
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In recent years there is increasing public attention for dog fighting in Europe. This article focuses on this phenomenon in the Netherlands: its organisation, various actors, modus operandi and possible involvement of organized crime. This qualitative research is based on semi-structured interviews, analysis of police files, observations and online...
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This article provides an introduction to the special issue of Trends in Organized Crime on ‘Organised Crime and Animals’. The special issue contributes to the criminological literature on organised crime, new illicit markets and green criminology. The articles in this special issue offer a wide range of empirical evidence, criminological analysis a...
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This article explores the relationship between the Emberá–Wounaan and Akha Indigenous people and organized crime groups vying for control over natural resources in the Darién Gap of East Panama and West Colombia and the Golden Triangle (the area where the borders of Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and Thailand meet), respectively. From a southern green crim...
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The funding information provided at the Acknowledgement section in the original article is inaccurate.
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Climate litigation is an understudied phenomenon in criminology. In this article we will discuss the rise of climate change litigation and growing recognition of global environmental harms from a green criminological perspective. More specifically, we will discuss both the legal reasoning and the impact of the Urgenda case in the Netherlands in the...
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Wildlife trafficking is considered to be an example of a transnational organized crime by policy-makers and enforcement agencies. Empirically, however, there is mixed support for this. Recently, there has been increased attention on the convergence of different illegal activities in an effort to share resources, personnel and transport routes. The...
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Historically, the poaching of wildlife was portrayed as a small-scale local activity in which only small numbers of wildlife would be smuggled illegally by collectors or opportunists. Nowadays, this image has changed: criminal networks are believed to be highly involved in wildlife trafficking, which has become a significant area of illicit activit...
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In the past decades, private actors have become key actors in regulation and enforcement of various forms of trade. In this paper, we focus on the role of private actors in the regulation of the trade in diamonds and caviar. We examine the stages of calling for additional regulation; setting regulatory requirements; and determining and effectuating...
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Gold mining has become a significant new form of organized crime activity in Colombia, where criminal groups continue to shift their operations from cocaine trafficking into gold mining. This chapter focuses on how the Gulf Clan has diversified into gold mining in Colombia, why gold extraction is embedded in other organized crime activities, and ho...
Chapter
This chapter introduces the topic of convergence between organized crime and the mining industry. The alluring nature of precious metals and minerals is highlighted and set against the modern-day global rush not only for gold, diamonds, and amber but also industrial materials, such as iron ore, coal, and sand. It is noted how environmental crimes,...
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The overexploitation of nature has led to anthropogenic defaunation, which results in complex socioeconomic, political and ecological consequences. Influenced by the economic growth of modernization and the interconnectedness of globalization, zoonotic diseases emerge as incalculable side effects of defaunation. By rejecting anthropocentric worldvi...
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This chapter puts forth that criminogenic asymmetries in the realms of ecology, economy, law, politics and power have created conditions ripe for global defaunation and enabled large flows of the illegal wildlife trade to flourish. To demonstrate how such criminogenic asymmetries contribute in complex ways to the absence of controls and provide opp...
Book
Precious metals and minerals have fascinated humankind since the beginning of time. In recent years organized crime has become increasingly involved in mining activities worldwide. Based on a wide range of case studies from the Amazon rainforest through the Ukrainian flatlands to the desert-like savanna of Central African Republic and Australia’s e...
Chapter
The United States and the European Union are major demand markets for illegal wildlife worldwide. The current study analyzes wildlife contraband seizures made at US ports of entry with those made in the EU during a similar time period in order to identify concentrations of illegal wildlife imports with regard to products, places of import and expor...
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This study focusses on the role of trust in the illegal distribution of protected wildlife in China. This research attempts to contribute to the literature by disentangling the establishment of trust within the illegal wildlife trade based on ethnographic fieldwork between 2011 and 2016. Both traders and consumers are resorting to mechanisms of tru...
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The trade in wildlife is not a new phenomenon. The earliest civilizations were linked to the trade in live animals and parts thereof, from the Egyptian pharaohs to aristocrats in the modern era. This article focuses on the history of the wildlife trade in order to understand the social construction of the value of wildlife. In dynamic social and cu...
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Nederland wordt beschouwd als een belangrijk kruispunt voor de illegale handel in bedreigde vogels die worden beschermd op grond van het CITES-verdrag. In dit artikel hebben de auteurs vijf substantiële strafrechtelijke onderzoeken vanuit drie criminologische perspectieven geanalyseerd. Ten eerste blijkt vanuit een economisch perspectief dat de log...
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This study focuses on the role of corruption in facilitating the illegal wildlife trade. This research attempts to contribute to the literature by disentangling the existence, influence and nested nature of corruption within the illegal wildlife trade based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in China, Morocco, Russia and Uganda. By utilizing Passa...
Book
Environmental crimes are primarily driven by financial motives. The combined financial value of illicit trade in protected wildlife, illegal logging and waste trafficking is estimated to come directly after counterfeiting, the narcotic drugs trade and illegal gambling. Logically, the proceeds of these crimes must also be laundered. Goods, however,...
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Towards a non-anthropocentric criminology Changing ecological conditions in a globalizing world pose new challenges for human societies. Global warming, large-scale pollution, deforestation and species extinction have increasingly become topics on the international agenda. Even though many of these harmful activities are criminogenic, criminology...
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• Overfishing, exacerbated by illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, is a serious threat to the conservation of the Caspian sturgeon populations, exposing them to the brink of extinction. This indicates the importance of investigating the causes and eliminating the consequences of the occurrence of IUU fishing. • This study aimed to de...
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In order to further crime victims’ compensation, the Dutch legislator relatively recently extended the admissibility criterion. Since 2010, the key lies in the assessment of whether such a claim presents an undue burden for the criminal proceedings (S. 51f DCCP). In order to learn whether this legal change has been effective, an evaluative research...
Chapter
The use of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has existed for thousands of years and is deeply rooted in Chinese society. In the context of Chinese migration and growing markets from the West, the TCM market has developed into a lucrative drug industry. However, not all medicines are legal, some illegal medicines contain sinister components, such a...
Chapter
The illegal trade in Barbary macaques contributes to a substantial decline in the wild population. From the late 1990s onwards, European sanctuaries addressed the growing number of seized animals being offered for shelter and the Barbary macaque has become the most seized CITES mammal in the EU in the 2000s. This chapter focuses on the organization...
Chapter
In this chapter, the nature of the illegal wildlife trade is approached by quantitative analyses of wildlife seizures. Wildlife confiscations over a 10 -year period in the European Union were analysed and presented by graphics and maps to provide an overall picture of the visible illegal trade. The EU is one of the foremost destination markets for...
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This study answers the call for empirical research on transnational environmental crimes by exploring the illegal trade in wildlife. In this chapter, the research methods of the study are presented. To obtain a global overview of this illegal trade, statistical descriptive analyses were carried out on a database with confiscations of illegal wildli...
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Since social and professional concerns regarding the environment increased and the impact on humans became clear, the wildlife trade became slowly criminalized in the past few decades. While it can be expected that criminologists would study this phenomenon, many criminologists hesitated in discovering this new field for several reasons. In this ch...
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In the twentieth century, the damage from unregulated wildlife trade became transparent as many species became extinct or were on the brink of extinction. Consequently, various moral entrepreneurs emerged to underline the need for regulation. This chapter shows that the effects of these initiatives to protect endangered species were divergent. On t...
Chapter
The chain of the illegal wildlife trade consists of different stages, actors and networks. The wildlife moves along a line of contacts from the source areas to the final destinations. In this chapter, three case studies are analysed as to their similarities and differences in the context of the social construction of the value, global anomie and cr...
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Caviar has a long and rich history, from the food of the poor to a luxury product for the upper classes in Europe. Historically, the symbolic value of caviar is determined in the context of changing social, political and environmental circumstances. The poaching exploded in the 1990s with the dissolution of the Soviet Union, due to which poor local...
Chapter
The trade in wildlife is not a new phenomenon. The earliest civilizations were linked to the trade in live animals and parts thereof, from the Egyptian pharaohs to aristocrats in the modern era. In this chapter, the focus is on the global history of the wildlife trade in order to understand the social context of the trade. In dynamic social and cul...
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After the five mass extinctions on Earth that were caused by meteorite impacts, volcanism and large-scale climate change, several scientists predict that we are currently at the beginning of a sixth mass extinction. In this scenario, it is humankind that is causing the mass extinction with the illegal trade in wildlife as one of the most important...
Book
In this book the author examines the illegal wildlife trade from multiple perspectives: the historical context, the impact on the environment, the scope of the problem internationally, the sociocultural demand for illegal products, the legal efforts to combat it, and several case studies from inside the trade. The illegal wildlife trade has become...
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Deze studie brengt de huidige praktijk van het civiele schadeverhaal in kaart. Geconstateerd wordt dat er regionale verschillen bestaan in de wijze van voorbereiding. Ook is sprake van uiteenlopende opvattingen over de plaats en betekenis van civiel schadeverhaal onder leden van het openbaar ministerie en strafrechters, met daaraan verbonden versch...
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This article focuses on the organization, modus operandi and trade route of the illegal trade in Barbary macaques. The Barbary macaque is the most seized CITES mammal in the EU, accounting for almost 25% of live mammal-related seizures. It is estimated that as few as 5,000-6,000 Barbary macaques remain in fragmented parts of Morocco and Algeria, pa...
Research
The current study analyses seizures made at US ports of entry between 2003 and 2013.
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The current study analyses seizures made at US ports of entry between 2003 and 2013, with the aim to identify concentrations of illegal wildlife imports into the United States. Findings show that 94% of species seized belong to six groups – mammals, molluscs, birds, reptiles, fish and coral – with mammals and reptiles making up more than half of al...
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The trade in caviar has a rich and colorful history, influenced over thousands of years by many cultures, societies and in the last decades by regulation. The value of caviar is historically discovered in the context of social change, political relationships and environmental change. The role of organized crime is described, as the scarcity of cavi...
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Daan van Uhm 1 De illegale handel in wildlife wordt tegenwoordig gezien als een serieuze vorm van criminaliteit. Naast incidenten waarbij toeristen wildlife vanuit de vakantiebestemming meenemen, is de georganiseerde misdaad in beeld gekomen. Er is echter ook sprake van een derde groep: legale actoren in de wildlife handel. In dit artikel wordt de...
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Tijgerbotten tegen reuma, de hoorn van de neushoorn tegen griep, en zeepaardjes tegen nieraandoeningen? Hoewel duizenden dier-en plantensoorten legaal wor‐ den gebruikt in traditionele Chinese medicijnen (TCM), bevatten sommige medi‐ cijnen dierlijke of plantaardige (illegale) ingrediënten van beschermde soorten. Maar waar komt deze vraag vandaan,...
Technical Report
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Illegale dierenhandel is een vorm van criminaliteit die onderbelicht is binnen de criminologie. 1 Toch doet deze vorm van criminaliteit zeker niet onder voor andere vormen van illegale handel (Lynch en Stretsky, 2003). De groei van de illegale dierenhandel is er mede debet aan dat vele beschermde dieren met uitsterven wor-den bedreigd. Het gaat bij...

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Projects (3)
Project
Conceptualizing ecocide calls for an approach that cuts across academic disciplines. The aim of this project is to bring together researchers from across the university and stakeholders and organizations beyond the university, whose work touches on any aspect of the problem of ecocide and its legal, ecological, political, sociocultural, criminological, philosophical, and historical dimensions.
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The high value and scarcity of natural resources increasingly attracts criminal entrepreneurs operating in the legal economy. The laundering of natural resources is a prime example where illegally obtained natural resources are converted into legal products. Consequently, consumers buy products, such as a gold wedding ring, a hardwood floor, or endangered species, as ‘legitimate’ on the international market and unknowingly become part of a trade with devastating environmental effects. To facilitate laundering, crime groups interact with corporations and state actors, as joint crime ventures. The proposed research aims to understand how and why joint crime ventures launder natural resources and what the environmental impact is. Contemporary developments in environmental crime networks signal the expansion of grey areas of business where the separation between conventional and non-conventional criminals is no longer appropriate for understanding and dealing with the increasing complexities of environmental crime. Therefore, it is essential to develop an innovative approach to fill this theoretical and empirical gap. By analysing coercive, economic, and political interactions between crime groups, corporations, and state actors, this study will build a new line of research and reveal the causes, incentives, and environmental harms of laundering natural resources. Period: 2023-2028 ERC STARTING GRANT: € 1.5 million The grant provides the laureates with the opportunity to develop their research project during a period of five years: https://erc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/2022-11/erc_2022_stg_results_all_domains.pdf
Project
The rising global scarcity of natural resources increasingly attracts transnational criminal organizations. These criminal organizations rapidly shift from ‘traditional’ criminal activities, such as drug or human trafficking, to the illegal trade in natural resources. They react to socio-economic, political and ecological changes by looking for opportunities to diversify their illegal activities. This research aims to understand how and why transnational criminal organizations diversify into the illegal trade in natural resources. website: www.uu.nl/greencrime Period: 2018-2021 VENI GRANT: 250,000 EUR The grant provides the laureates with the opportunity to further elaborate their own ideas during a period of three years: https://www.nwo.nl/en/research-and-results/programmes/Talent+Scheme/awards/veni+awards/veni+awards+2018 https://www.nwo.nl/onderzoek-en-resultaten/onderzoeksprojecten/i/42/32342.html