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03 July 2015

Working group starts review of INTERPOL’s information processing mechanisms

LYON, France – The first meeting of a specialized working group has been held as part of ongoing efforts to ensure INTERPOL maintains the highest data processing and protection standards.

The three-day (1 – 3 July) meeting, attended by more than 60 participants from some 30 countries representing all INTERPOL regions, follows a resolution adopted at the 2014 General Assembly supporting a comprehensive review of supervisory mechanisms at all levels, including National Central Bureaus, the General Secretariat and the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL’s Files (CCF).

In assisting its 190 member countries combat new and emerging crime threats, the Organization has created new and innovative tools which has seen a significant increase in the volume of data exchanged via its channels in recent years.

Addressing the meeting organized by INTERPOL’s Office of Legal Affairs, Secretary General Jürgen Stock said a proper balance between efficient international police cooperation and full compliance with fundamental human rights was needed to maintain the Organization’s credibility, legitimacy and effectiveness.

“The obligation to abide by international human rights standards is enshrined in INTERPOL’s constitution, and we have always strived to respect these rights and the rule of law,” said Secretary General Stock.

“As the processing and review of data shared via INTERPOL continue to face growing challenges, this full and comprehensive review of the system is timely,” concluded Mr Stock.

Underlining INTERPOL’s ongoing commitment to encourage dialogue with civil society, a special session was held during the meeting for external representatives including from NGOs specializing in international human rights law and international legal practitioners to provide their input.

The review is part of INTERPOL’s continuous assessment of its rules and practices to ensure that it maintains the highest standards in international police cooperation.

In addition to the introduction of INTERPOL’s Rules on the Processing of Data in July 2012, the past two years have also seen an increasing number of modifications and updates to INTERPOL’s rules and regulations in order to better meet the requirements of international police cooperation.

The working group, chaired by Johanna Hervonen, Head of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Helsinki, approved a number of conclusions in relation to the review process of INTERPOL’s notices and data processing, which will be presented to the 84th General Assembly in Rwanda in November.