The world’s largest police organization, INTERPOL’s mission is to assist law enforcement agencies in each of its 187 member countries to combat all forms of transnational crime.
Guided by four core functions, INTERPOL provides a high-tech infrastructure of technical and operational support to enable police forces around the world to meet the growing challenges of crime in the 21st century.
The General Secretariat in Lyon, France, is operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing a central contact point for the National Central Bureau (NCB) in every member country for assistance or information on cross-border investigations.
All NCBs are connected to each other and the General Secretariat through I-24/7, INTERPOL’s secure global police communications system, which also enables law enforcement officers to directly check a range of vital police databases.
INTERPOL uses a system of colour-coded international notices to locate, arrest or provide warnings about fugitives and other criminals. In 2007 alone, co-operation between INTERPOL’s member countries led to more than 5,200 arrests across the globe.
Trafficking in human beings
INTERPOL aims to end the abuse and exploitation of human beings for financial gain. Women from developing countries and young children all over the world are especially vulnerable to trafficking, smuggling or sexual exploitation.
Trafficking in women for sexual exploitation is a multi-billion-dollar business which involves citizens of most countries and helps sustain organized crime. A violation of human rights, it destroys the lives of its victims.
Human trafficking is distinct from people smuggling in that it involves the exploitation of the migrant, often for purposes of forced labour and prostitution.
People smuggling implies the procurement, for financial or material gain, of the illegal entry into a state of which that person is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident. Criminal networks which smuggle and traffic in human beings for financial gain increasingly control the flow of migrants across borders.
Child sexual exploitation on the Internet ranges from posed photos to visual recordings of brutal sexual crimes. One of INTERPOL’s main tools for helping police fight this type of crime is the International Child Sexual Exploitation Image database (ICSE DB). Containing hundreds of thousands of images of child sexual abuse submitted by member countries, the ICSE DB facilitates the sharing of images and information thereby assisting law enforcement agencies with the identification of new victims.
- Crimes against children
- Crimes against humanity
- DNA profiling
- Disaster victim identification
- INTERPOL Notices