U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) commemorates Human Rights Day on December 10th, as the anniversary of the date on which the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrates the proposition that freedom, justice and peace in the world are fundamental rights that all individuals are entitled to equally. This year’s slogan, “Human Rights 365,” embraces the idea that every day is Human Rights Day.
“Today we are reminded of the purpose of our work,” said Acting Director Thomas S. Winkowski, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “We strive to achieve the goals of the Universal Declaration by ensuring that the U.S. does not become a safe haven for those who commit human rights violations. Our ongoing investigations into these cases support those around the globe who struggle to be treated with dignity and respect.”
The HRVWCC works in close collaboration with the FBI’s International Human Rights Unit and other U.S. government and foreign law enforcement partners to identify, investigate, prosecute, extradite and remove individuals who have carried out genocide, torture, war crimes and other serious human rights violations from the United States. HRVWCC has also sought to deny entry to the United States for perpetrators of human rights abuses. While the United States welcomes refugees, asylum seekers and other persons who have been victims of war crimes and other atrocities, it will not be a safe haven to those who commit such atrocities.
Since fiscal year 2004, ICE has arrested more than 296 individuals for human rights-related violations under various criminal and/or immigration statutes. During that same period, ICE obtained deportation orders and physically removed more than 650 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Currently, HSI has more than 165 active investigations, and ICE is pursuing more than 1,800 leads and removal cases involving suspected human rights violators from 97 different countries.
Over the last four years, ICE’s Human Rights Violators and War Crime Center has issued more than 66,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 111 countries and stopped 158 human rights violators or war-crime suspects from entering the United States.
Members of the public who have information about foreign nationals suspected of engaging in human rights abuses or war crimes are urged to contact ICE by calling the toll-free ICE tip line at 1-866-347-2423, international 001-1802-872-6199, by email at HRV.ICE@ice.dhs.gov or by completing an online tip form at https://tips.fbi.gov. All are staffed around the clock and tips may be provided anonymously.