INTERPOL Begins 2014 Facing Calls for Reform from Both Human Rights and Conservative Organizations

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As 2013 drew to a close, two very different organizations released their own reports, both of which addressed the need for reform within INTERPOL and its independent review body, the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL's Files (CCF).

Both Fair Trials International, based in London, and the Heritage Foundation, housed in Washington, D.C., released extremely in-depth reports.  Both organizations called for reform.  Some of the recommendations were shared by both organizations, and some were different. But what's striking about both the timing and the content of the reports, as well as the agreement that significatn reform is necessary, is that Fair Trials and Heritage Foundation are two very different animals, with what might frequently be considered to be divergent interests.

The Heritage Foundation describes itself as a research and educational institution with the following mission:

to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

 Fair Trials International is a London-based charity organization that lists its goal as working toward

the better protection of fair trial rights and defended the rights of people facing criminal charges in a country other than their own. Our vision is a world where every person’s right to a fair trial is respected, whatever their nationality, wherever they are accused.

Differing goals aside, both organizations strongly value the rights of the individual, and both reports reflect a need for change within INTERPOL in order to protect individual rights.

The report by Fair Trials International, found here, by Libby McVeigh, Rebecca Shaeffer, and Alex Tinsely, among others, is driven by Fair Trials' own experience in assisting individuals with INTERPOL notices, and focuses on the need for protection from abuse by member coutnries as well as the need for transparency when challenging INTERPOL notices.

The Heritage Foundation's report, by Ted R. Bromund and David B. Kopel, is found here, and focuses on reform as related to the United States' interests with INTERPOL, including the protection of U.S. citizens and the U.S. role in INTERPOL's funding.  

In this series of posts, both reports and their recommendations will be examined and discussed.