War crimes

We support investigation and prosecution of perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

The issues

Crimes such as genocides, crimes against humanity and war crimes are of serious concern to the international community.

As well as the devastating effect on families concerned, these crimes have a lasting, destabilizing impact on the safety and security of communities, nations and regions for decades after they occur. 

Investigation and prosecution of these crimes are central to our common fight against impunity.

Investigating war crimes

Our response – operational support

With our global networks and technical tools, we are in a unique position to enhance efforts of law enforcement authorities, international criminal tribunals and national prosecution services to investigate and seek justice for these criminal acts.

We provide operational and investigative support to these partner organizations and to war crimes and fugitive investigators in our member countries.

We promote and facilitate access to our services, technical tools, resources and expertise in the area of serious international crimes. We also support our member countries and partner organizations by sharing information and coordinating international investigations.

Several of our projects on catching fugitives are related to war crimes. These include Project BASIC, and the Rwandan Genocide Fugitives Project (see the Fugitives section).

Our work in this field is defined in agreements with international courts and tribunals, and by resolutions adopted by our governing bodies and those of the United Nations.


Investigating these types of serious international crime requires specialized training and knowledge; enhancing the capability of investigators is a priority for us in this field.

Our International Training Course on Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity has seen more than 110 investigators from 30 countries and six international organizations trained in the most up-to-date investigative skills.

The aim is to establish standard practices in all areas, including collecting and processing of evidence related to mass atrocities and, also extending capacity for investigating and prosecuting sexual and gender-based violence.



Strategic partnerships and specialist networks allow us to share expertise and to maximize the impact of our initiatives on a national and international level.

We have been actively cooperating with the United Nations International Tribunals and the International Criminal Court since 1994.  We also participate in genocide networks such as the European Network for investigation and prosecution of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

“INTERPOL, as a global player, can be a key partner in helping international tribunals and national authorities in having fugitives arrested.” Serge Brammertz, Chief Prosecutor for the UN International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals

These partnerships allow us to leverage legal evolutions and adapt our capacities accordingly  – for instance in the area of cultural heritage crime or in retrieving evidence from mobile devices and social media, including in atrocities perpetrated by ISIL (Daesh).