WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center (HRVWCC) commemorates Human Rights Day Dec. 10, the same day 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, Human Rights Day highlights the four freedoms that underlie the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. These four freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear, were first articulated in 1941 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a speech to Congress.
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 from the United States individuals who have carried out genocide, torture, war crimes and other serious human rights violations. The HRVWCC has also sought to deny perpetrators of human rights abuses entry to the United States. 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 740 known or suspected human rights violators from the United States. Currently, ICE's Homeland Security Investigations has more than 140 active investigations into suspected human rights violators and 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 Crimes Center has issued more than 67,000 lookouts for individuals from more than 111 countries and stopped 161 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 or internationally at 001-1802-872-6199. They can also email HRV.ICE@ice.dhs.gov or complete ICE’s online tip form. All are staffed around the clock and tips may be provided anonymously.