In 2017, INTERPOL’s General Assembly adopted a resolution regarding the processing of data related to individuals who have been granted refugee or asylum seeker status. The resolution called upon member countries to do their utmost to ensure that this status is not abused by terrorists and other criminals, and outlined the steps that member countries and the General Secretariat should take.
Through this resolution (GA-2017-86-RES-09), INTERPOL seeks to strike a balance between enhancing international police cooperation and providing adequate and effective safeguards to protect the rights of refugees.
It also underlines INTERPOL’s commitment to the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as outlined in Article 2 of our Constitution.
Confirmation of refugee status
Member countries are encouraged to provide INTERPOL’s General Secretariat or, as applicable, the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files, with confirmation that an individual has been granted refugee status and of the outcome of an asylum application review.
Once a member country has confirmed a person’s refugee status, INTERPOL will delete any Notice or Diffusion for the individual from the country where he or she fears persecution.
Member countries are also requested to inform the General Secretariat when a decision is taken to deny refugee status on the basis of an individual’s criminal background.
If INTERPOL is notified that an asylum request has been denied, or that refugee status previously granted has been revoked, the data may be maintained, or restored, if it conforms to the Organization’s rules.
Refugee protection regime
INTERPOL does not intervene in asylum application assessments or a country’s decision on whether a person is granted refugee status.
The resolution recognizes the importance of safeguarding the refugee protection regime from abuse by dangerous criminals and terrorists, an aim which is reflected in numerous United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
In light of this, the Refugee Resolution also encourages member countries to systematically check INTERPOL’s databases, and inform other member countries and the General Secretariat when a decision is taken to deny refugee status on the basis of an individual’s criminal background.