INTERPOL's New Policy on Refugees: Is Everything Settled?
8 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2016
Date Written: August 26, 2016
Article 3 of the INTERPOL's Constitution strictly forbids the Organization from undertaking any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious, or racial nature. INTERPOL considers protection of individuals from persecution one of its primary objectives. Nevertheless, until recently INTERPOL had not provided refugees with any meaningful protection and allowed its 190 member countries to use the Organization's channels to seek the arrest with a view to extradition of individuals with refugee status. Asylum and refugee status had not per se sufficed to remove the individual's information from the INTERPOL's databases. In early 2015, in response to numerous calls to change the practice by human rights advocates and victims of abuse of INTERPOL's channels, the Organization introduced its new policy. Although INTERPOL's new policy is an important step towards protection of the rights of refugees, it does not reflect some very important and topical issues that need to be addressed to better protect refugees from abuse of the Organization's channels. In this article, the author offers his opinion on how INTERPOL could address those issues.
Keywords: interpol, police cooperation, extradition, red notice, human rights, refugee
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