Improving the effectiveness of Interpol to ensure respect for human rights

“The purpose of my mandate is to assist Interpol in improving the effectiveness of its procedures aimed at ensuring respect for human rights. Improving the prevention of human rights violations serves to strengthen the credibility of Interpol and thus its effectiveness as a tool in the fight against international crime”. Bernd Fabritius (Germany, EPP/CD) opened with his words a hearing organised by PACE Committee on Legal Affairs in Paris in the framework of the preparation of his report on “Abusive use of the Interpol system: the need for more stringent legal safeguards”.

Jürgen Stock, Secretary General of Interpol, reported about the substantial changes that have intervened in the organisation through a process of reform. “In just two years’ time, we have managed to comprehensively overhaul and enhance all Interpol’s supervisory mechanisms, without causing any disruption to the essential service it provides international law enforcement through the Red Notice. This has been necessary to continue responding efficiently to the technological advancements of our time”, he said. “Interpol will continue to prioritise work on its supervisory mechanisms and ensuring the proper implementation of the measures adopted at the last General Assembly,” added Mr Stock.

“Interpol serves a vital function for international law enforcement and counterterrorism. Its credibility and efficiency are essential. Yet Interpol is being undermined by misuses of its tools. More stringent legal safeguards to prevent this are critically important”, said Herta Däubler-Gmelin, former German Minister of Justice.

“The effectiveness of Interpol’s activities is highly dependent on its reputation as an essential tool in the global fight against crime, and the level of confidence placed on its systems”, said Jago Russell, Chief Executive of human rights NGO ‘Fair Trials’. The parliamentarians intervention in relation to the abuse of Interpol’s system, he said, “is important in the absence of any other external oversight of the organisation’s operation” and taking into account the Assembly’s extensive human rights expertise. The recent and on-going reforms in Interpol’s procedures are most welcome, he concluded, “but the key word is now implementation”.