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[PASSED] Preventing the Illicit Trade of Cultural Artefacts

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Stoskavanya
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[PASSED] Preventing the Illicit Trade of Cultural Artefacts

Postby Stoskavanya » Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:51 pm

A worthwhile initiative I hope the WA adopts.

Current Draft:
Preventing the Illicit Trade of Cultural Artefacts

CATEGORY:Education and Creativity |AREA OF EFFECT:Cultural Heritage |PROPOSED BY:Stoskavanya



This World Assembly,

Recognizing the fundamental spiritual, historical and social value that cultural artefacts hold in many nations,

Realizing the considerable damage that the illicit trade of cultural artefacts may cause to the cultural heritage of nations from which they are taken,

Disturbed by the emergence of a multinational black market for stolen cultural artefacts, generating a potent source of funding for organized crime and terrorist groups,

Believing in this Assembly’s ability to effectively deter this criminal behavior,

Hereby,

1. Defines:

    a. "cultural artefact" as any object which holds an importance for archaeology, prehistory, ethnology, history, literature, art, science, or any other significant cultural value to a current or past society,

    b. "stolen cultural artefact" for the purpose of this resolution as any artefact illegally obtained from a country of origin, either through the theft or looting of cultural sites, archaeological grounds or exhibitions, and smuggled abroad with the intent to be distributed through undisclosed channels to patrons for profit,

2. Prohibits the importation of stolen cultural artefacts in all member nations,

3. Instructs a member nation to make intentional participation in the trade of stolen cultural artefacts a serious crime, enforced with effective and proportional sanctions, of which such participation includes:

    a. theft or looting of cultural artefacts from archaeological or cultural sites;
    b. direct involvement or collaboration in the trafficking of stolen cultural artefacts;
    c. knowledgeable sale or acquisition of stolen cultural artefacts;

4. Grants the World Assembly Trust for Cultural Heritage (WATCH) authority over matters involving the illicit trade of cultural artefacts within the WA, which shall include:

    a. coordinating with member nations in the identification and tracking of stolen cultural artefacts;
    b. promulgating guidelines and strategies to combat the trade of stolen cultural property;
    c. supervising repatriation requests between member states for seized stolen artefacts and ensuring the artefact's physical preservation;

5. Obliges a member nation, upon the ratification of this resolution, to return any seized stolen artefact to the state authority of its last legal custodian upon request, barring any significant concerns for the wellbeing of the artefact,

6. Permits a member nation to arbitrate on the legal status of cultural artefacts alleged to be stolen before the ratification of this resolution, subject to extant World Assembly legislation and other binding international agreements,

7. Invites a member nation to create an inventory of cultural artefacts within its nation, which shall include an identification of stolen or missing artefacts, and share this data with other member states and the WATCH,

8. Encourages a member nation to offer specialized training to police and customs services on the domestic enforcement of the provisions in this resolution as advised by the WATCH,

9. Urges all agents in the trade of cultural artefacts, including but not limited to auction houses, art collectors, museums, and other purchasers to require verifiable documentation and undertake proper due diligence before engaging in the trade of cultural artefacts,

10. Clarifies that nothing in this resolution shall be used to adjudge questions over national or cultural ownership of cultural artefacts, nor prevent further legislation on matters involving artefacts removed legally or with the appearance of legality whose ownership is disputed.

1. Why have the WA prevent the illicit trade of cultural artefacts?

The trade of cultural artefacts is large; after drugs and weapons, the illicit trade of cultural artefacts is thought to be the biggest source of revenue in international trafficking. Unfortunately, due to this value, cultural artefacts are being sought out in both times of peace and war to be sold on the black market. Thus this proposal not only aims stifle the revenue generated by organized crime and terrorist groups who perpetrate the trade, but to protect the artefacts themselves by making their transfer to purchesers more difficult and deterring their theft in the first place. Since this is an international problem, one which is highly dependent on countries who maintain lax standards on the importation of stolen artefacts, organizing a collective WA effort to unify standards and enforcement of the provisions will go a long way in suppressing the trade.

2. What current resolutions exist on the preservation of cultural artefacts.

GA #247 Cultural Site Preservation:
This resolution established the WATCH, the committee mentioned in this proposal, which designates cultural sites and urges nations to follow the preservation recommendations of such a committee.

GA #317 Wartime Looting and Pillage:
This resolutions prevents invading armies form engaging in unnecessary looting and pillaging of cultural artefacts during times of war.
Last edited by Frisbeeteria on Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:39 pm, edited 61 times in total.

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Araraukar
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Postby Araraukar » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:06 pm

OOC: So who decides what's "stolen"? I'm not asking that to be nitpicky, but a private person legally owning an item might sell it in good faith, while the nation (or any nation related to the object) might declare it a cultural artefact and try to forbid the trade and declare it stolen and whatnot. This kind of stuff happens all the time in Real Life, especially when the items have been in private hands sometimes for centuries - labeling the current owner a thief because of what their ancestor did, is unfair and likely illegal.

Is it only stealing if you're taking something owned by someone? If you randomly find a relic piece in a midden heap on the roadside and take it home, are you a thief?
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Postby Kenmoria » Fri Mar 02, 2018 2:11 am

"I think the term "stolen" needs to be defined. The instructs clause would force member nations to criminalise incidental involvement that is purely accidental."
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The First German Order
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Postby The First German Order » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:55 am

OOC: I don’t see why this is needed.
Last edited by The First German Order on Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Masurbia » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:47 am

Stoskavanya wrote:1. Defines cultural artefact as any material object created by a person which gives insight to the culture of its creator or holds significant cultural value to a current or past society,

Under this definition, me finding an arrowhead in the desert and taking it home as a souvenir, would make me a criminal. This definition is very vague and can be widely abused by a nation's government to imprison individuals.
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Postby Alpha Cassiopeiae » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:24 pm

"A valiant cause, but much too broad and furthers the unnecessary expansion of the World Assembly bureaucracy."
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Stoskavanya
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Postby Stoskavanya » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:43 pm

Kenmoria wrote:"I think the term "stolen" needs to be defined. The instructs clause would force member nations to criminalise incidental involvement that is purely accidental."

Your probably right, I'll find a way to adequately define it.
Masurbia wrote:
Stoskavanya wrote:
1. Defines cultural artefact as any material object created by a person which gives insight to the culture of its creator or holds significant cultural value to a current or past society,

Under this definition, me finding an arrowhead in the desert and taking it home as a souvenir, would make me a criminal. This definition is very vague and can be widely abused by a nation's government to imprison individuals.

Under this definition you would find a cultural artefact, it doesn't make it stolen. Simply processing a cultural artefact is not a crime.
Alpha Cassiopeiae wrote:"A valiant cause, but much too broad and furthers the unnecessary expansion of the World Assembly bureaucracy."

The resolution is a holistic approach to stopping the illicit trade, but i'm sure I can reduce its scope over time. I'll also try to scale back the bureaucracy, such as implanting provisions for nations themselves to do the repatriation, but as a whole I am trying to give the member nations as much discretion as possible.

Thank you for your initial comments.
Last edited by Stoskavanya on Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Masurbia
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Postby Masurbia » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:24 pm

Under this definition, me finding an arrowhead in the desert and taking it home as a souvenir, would make me a criminal. This definition is very vague and can be widely abused by a nation's government to imprison individuals.

Under this definition you would find a cultural artefact, it doesn't make it stolen. Simply processing a cultural artefact is not a crime.

But what makes an artifact stolen?
Last edited by Masurbia on Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Stoskavanya
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Postby Stoskavanya » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:34 pm

Masurbia wrote:But what makes an artifact stolen?

Good point, to be defined in the upcoming days.
Last edited by Stoskavanya on Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Stoskavanya
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Postby Stoskavanya » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:21 pm

Updated with the highly anticipated definition of "stolen"
(defines) "stolen cultural artefact" for the purpose of this resolution as any artefact illegally and deliberately obtained in its country of origin, either through the theft or looting of cultural sites, archaeological grounds or exhibitions, and smuggled abroad with the intent to be distributed through undisclosed channels to patrons.

As you can see the definition sets a high bar for the activity that has to be done to be considered stealing, so accidental carrying of an arrowhead through the airport won't make you an international criminal.
Last edited by Stoskavanya on Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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La Navasse
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Postby La Navasse » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:56 pm

Stoskavanya wrote:Updated with the highly anticipated definition of "stolen"
(defines) "stolen cultural artefact" for the purpose of this resolution as any artefact illegally and deliberately obtained in its country of origin, either through the theft or looting of cultural sites, archaeological grounds or exhibitions, and smuggled abroad with the intent to be distributed through undisclosed channels to patrons.

As you can see the definition sets a high bar for the activity that has to be done to be considered stealing, so accidental carrying of an arrowhead through the airport won't make you an international criminal.

However, a child carrying that arrowhead would become an international criminal, if he gave it to his friends privately?...
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Stoskavanya
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Postby Stoskavanya » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:23 pm

La Navasse wrote:However, a child carrying that arrowhead would become an international criminal, if he gave it to his friends privately?...

If he deliberately stole it from a cultural site, smuggled it abroad, and sold it to his friend privately, and is tried in an adult court, yes.
Last edited by Stoskavanya on Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kenmoria
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Postby Kenmoria » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:19 am

"There needs to be a space between the “1.” and the “Defines” in clause 1."
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Masurbia
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Postby Masurbia » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:13 pm

Stoskavanya wrote:
La Navasse wrote:However, a child carrying that arrowhead would become an international criminal, if he gave it to his friends privately?...

If he deliberately stole it from a cultural site, smuggled it abroad, and sold it to his friend privately, and is tried in an adult court, yes.

Then again, what is a cultural site? How far is abroad? And where does it say a child would be tried in an adult court in your proposal?

OOCly, many people believe that Britain and other European countries stole ancient artifacts from places like Egypt. Example being the Rosetta Stone in 1801. Would this proposal force countries to give back artifacts in scenarios such as this?
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Postby The Free Philosophers of Earth » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:30 pm

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OOC: Support on principle.
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The First German Order
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Postby The First German Order » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:26 pm

The Free Philosophers of Earth wrote:"We will not support any bill causing hefty, targeted legal action against the province of England. How dare you even suggest it?!"

OOC: Support on principle.

OOC: How would your representative know that he was talking Out-of-Character?
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Postby Industrial West Virginia » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:03 am

"This is a bit counterproductive. You want to stop the illegal trade of things that are already illegally owned. I'd recommend removing one of the two to make this more of a specific proposal. I believe it would be better to reinforce stealing of artifacts, which is more of a national thing anyways."
The absolute madman.

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Stoskavanya
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Postby Stoskavanya » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:17 pm

Masurbia wrote:Then again, what is a cultural site? How far is abroad? And where does it say a child would be tried in an adult court in your proposal?

A cultural site is whatever is said to be by the WATCH, as defined in GA 287 "Cultural Site Preservation". Abroad is another country. I typed that stuff about an adult court as a response to La Navasse's hypothetical scenario, nowhere does this proposal mention child courts. :p

Masurbia wrote:OOCly, many people believe that Britain and other European countries stole ancient artifacts from places like Egypt. Example being the Rosetta Stone in 1801. Would this proposal force countries to give back artifacts in scenarios such as this?

EDIT: It has now come to my attention that the facts I wrote about Egypt below is untrue; I apologize sincerely.

This is an interesting and tricky ethical case, but one that doesn't really impact this proposal. In your case Egypt was a de jure colony under England, and therefore legally the English had landowners permission to discover and transport the artifacts found back to their land. The definition of stolen cultural artifact in this proposal only applies if the theft of the artifact was a crime at the time it was taken, thus the question of true cultural ownership is beyond the scope of this proposal. As for military occupation, that is covered by GA #317 Wartime Looting and Pillage.

Industrial West Virginia wrote:"This is a bit counterproductive. You want to stop the illegal trade of things that are already illegally owned. I'd recommend removing one of the two to make this more of a specific proposal. I believe it would be better to reinforce stealing of artifacts, which is more of a national thing anyways."

You would think so, but the dynamics of the trade makes it so that the theft of cultural relics is a demand-side problem, meaning that it is driven largely by the market for cultural artefacts in somewhat affluent countries. As long as these countries have an apathetic stance towards addressing the matter of stolen cultural artifacts, little can be done in individual nations.Thus, a global solution to address this market will go a long way.

EDIT: Real Q/A coming soon.
Last edited by Stoskavanya on Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:16 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Masurbia
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Postby Masurbia » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:53 pm

Stoskavanya wrote:
Masurbia wrote:Then again, what is a cultural site? How far is abroad? And where does it say a child would be tried in an adult court in your proposal?

A cultural site is whatever is said to be by the WATCH, as defined in GA 287 "Cultural Site Preservation". Abroad is another country. I typed that stuff about an adult court as a response to La Navasse's hypothetical scenario, nowhere does this proposal mention child courts. :p

I see that GA 287 designates WATCH to determine cultural sites, but what is the difference between culturally relevant sites, and just cultural sites? Or is there none at all?
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Postby Stoskavanya » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:59 pm

Masurbia wrote:I see that GA 287 designates WATCH to determine cultural sites, but what is the difference between culturally relevant sites, and just cultural sites? Or is there none at all?

Huh, I would assume nothing. If it becomes a problem I suppose I could just replace "cultural sites" with "culturally relevant sites" in my proposal though.
Last edited by Stoskavanya on Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Araraukar » Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:04 pm

Stoskavanya wrote:1. Defines:

"cultural artefact" as any material object created by a person which gives insight to the culture of its creator or holds significant cultural value to a current or past society,

OOC: This means every single object ever created by anyone, because everything, even mass produced objects, give insight into the culture of their creators. The stuff that comes after the word "or", on the other hand, is on topic and fairly specific.
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Postby Kenmoria » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:20 am

"I would end the second defining with a comma rather than a full stop."
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NS stats and policies are not canon, use the factbooks
Not in the WA despite coincidentally following all resolutions
This is due to a problem with how the WA contradicts our democracy
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Postby Mazemba » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:48 pm

"Prohibits the illicit import" is a tautology since the illicit is by definition prohibited. Just strike the word illicit.

Should there be some kind of support or recognition for those who now own stolen cultural artefacts but acquired them in good faith or are they simply to have them confiscated?

Should there be a requirement on member nations to return incoming repatriated items to the last legal owner if that owner was not the government?
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Alpha Cassiopeiae
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Postby Alpha Cassiopeiae » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:12 pm

"It reads much better, but it is still ambiguous as to what to do with artifacts currently existing in a nation. Do you intend to make their sale illegal even if they've been in a nation for decades? What about artifacts whose origin is ambiguous and may have been stolen or obtained legitimately? Are we requiring the return of artifacts looted during a war?"
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Stoskavanya
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Postby Stoskavanya » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:06 pm

Proposal has been reworked; mostly changes in phrasing and format including suggestions by commenters here. Nations themselves now are allowed to return the artefacts themselves, but have an option to give it to the WATCH.



Mazemba wrote:"Prohibits the illicit import" is a tautology since the illicit is by definition prohibited. Just strike the word illicit.

Should there be some kind of support or recognition for those who now own stolen cultural artefacts but acquired them in good faith or are they simply to have them confiscated?

Should there be a requirement on member nations to return incoming repatriated items to the last legal owner if that owner was not the government?


Tautology is fixed. Unfortunately yes, cultural artefacts purchased in good faith are confiscated, just as I would imagine any stolen object of value bought that way. It is up to individual nations to offer any restitution to the buyer.

The proposal now obligates the return of the artefact to the nation of the artefact's last legal owner. I think its more fitting for the WA to go through the state first.



Alpha Cassiopeiae wrote:"It reads much better, but it is still ambiguous as to what to do with artifacts currently existing in a nation. Do you intend to make their sale illegal even if they've been in a nation for decades? What about artifacts whose origin is ambiguous and may have been stolen or obtained legitimately? Are we requiring the return of artifacts looted during a war?"

I can't think of a compelling reason why a stolen artefact which has resided in a nation for many years would be exempt from repatriation.

Truly ambiguous objects I assume would be exempt, since it can't be established for certain that the object is stolen and most reasonable states in cases of doubt would let it remain with its current owner. Objects which are known to be stolen, but have no traceable prior legal owner, would be returned to last known state of origin.

I may consider adding some provision to the WATCH section to arbitrate questions on ownership of cultural artefacts.

Objects looted during war would be covered by 317 GA 'Wartime Looting and Pillage'
Last edited by Stoskavanya on Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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