Genocide, War Crimes, and Crimes Against
The Investigation and Prosecution of Genocide, War Crimes,
and Crimes Against Humanity
The General Secretariat is expanding its role in providing international co-ordination
and support for law enforcement agencies in member countries and international
organizations responsible for the investigation and prosecution of genocide, war
crimes, and crimes against humanity.
Interpol has been supporting member countries and the ad hoc International
Criminal Tribunals in the location and apprehension of criminals wanted for genocide,
war crimes, and crimes against humanity since 1994, primarily through the
publication of Red Notices and the provision of other investigative assistance.
However, many countries have recently expanded their activities in this field, and
have established specialized units dedicated to the investigation and prosecution of
these offences regardless of where they have occurred.
From 23 to 25 March 2004, General Secretariat hosted the First International Expert
Meeting on War Crimes, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity in Lyon, France.
Ninety three delegates and observers from 39 countries and international
organizations attended this meeting. Over the course of three days, the delegates
viewed presentations and participated in discussions aimed at identifying the needs
of the member countries and international organizations with a view towards
improving coordination and information sharing. At the conclusion of the meeting, a
list of recommendations was adopted.
From 21 to 22 July 2004, in furtherance of Recommendation no 9 adopted at the
expert meeting, the General Secretariat hosted the First Working Group Meeting on
Genocide, War Crimes, and Crimes Against Humanity, in Lyon. Fourteen delegates
from twelve countries and two international organizations participated in the
discussions and made recommendations concerning ways to address the needs
identified at the expert meeting. The recommendations included the increased use of
Interpol databases, the preparation of a best practice manual, and identification of
points of contact in member countries.
On 7 October 2004, the General Assembly adopted Resolution number AG-2004-
PRES-17 which recommended that, within the limits of national and international
law, ICPO-Interpol member countries should cooperate with each other and with
international organizations, international criminal tribunals, and non-governmental
organizations as appropriate in a joint effort to prevent genocide, war crimes, and
crimes against humanity, and to investigate and prosecute those suspected of
committing these crimes; asked the General Secretariat to assist member countries
in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes; and asked the Secretary
General to bring the present resolution to the attention of the appropriate United
Nations authorities and other international organizations.
The General Assembly Delegates also authorized an accord to be signed with the
Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to improve co-operation
between the two organizations in assisting the fight against transnational crime and
upholding justice. The agreement will also allow the International Criminal Court
access to Interpol's communications network and databases.
From 23 to 24 February 2005 the General Secretariat hosted the Second Working
Group Meeting on Genocide, War Crimes, and Crimes Against Humanity, in Lyon.
Eighteen delegates from thirteen countries and three international organizations
participated. The working group continued its work from the first meeting in July
2004 concerning improvement of information sharing and coordination of activities
among member countries with regard to the investigation and prosecution of
genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
From 14 to 16 June 2005 ICPO-Interpol hosted the Second International Expert
Meeting on Genocide, War Crimes, and Crimes Against Humanity. The purpose of
this 2nd expert meeting was to share information concerning the activities of units
and organizations specialised in these types of investigations, to discuss ways in
which the needs of these units and organizations can be fulfilled, and to enhance the
cooperation among the many law enforcement, judicial, academic, and non-
governmental organizations involved in this complex field.
The three-day conference included presentations on various countries’ war crimes
programs and policies, the prosecution of Nazi war criminals, child soldiers, forensic
science applications, human rights and international co-operation. There were also
panel discussions on witness protection and international law and the role of non-
governmental organizations in the investigation of genocide, war crimes and crimes