What Can HTCP Do For You?

Questions for Law Enforcement Agencies:
  • Are you trying to locate missing or abducted children or parental abductors?
  • Do you need help tracking uncooperative registered sex offenders?
  • Could you use assistance halting the production and distribution of child sexual abuse images along with child sex tourism?
  • Are you involved with investigating and apprehending human smugglers and/or traffickers?

photo of sign that says human trafficking is modern-day slaveryIf so, then the INTERPOL Washington's Human Trafficking and Child Protection Division (HTCP) staff and its resources should be another tool in your investigation and apprehension toolbox.

HTCP targets an array of offenses, including kidnapping, rape, child pornography, child abuse, human trafficking, people/child smuggling, sex tourism, and sexual offenses against children. HTCP supports all levels of U.S. law enforcement agencies by serving as a liaison for exchanging intelligence with the other 189 INTERPOL member countries. HTCP facilitates the formulation, issuance, and distribution of the following international INTERPOL Notices for the aforementioned crimes: Red Notice (locate and arrest); Blue Notice (locate and trace only); Green Notice (potential public safety warning of sex offenders traveling); and Yellow Notice (locate missing persons/children).

In what way does HTCP assist your investigation? The answer: a variety of ways. HTCP is an essential component of the U.S. National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction, providing support through several priority programs. Furthermore, HTCP is an integral partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, assisting by processing and distributing information received via the Cyber Tipline. HTCP collaborates with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Cyber Crimes Center by confirming universal resource locator (URL) Internet addresses that allegedly display child pornographic images hosted on Internet Protocol (IP) addresses located within the United States.

The INTERPOL General Secretariat located in Lyon, France, maintains an International Child Sexual Exploitation (ICSE) database composed of known and unknown pornographic images of children and child abuse victims received from federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. This vital information is shared within the domestic and international law enforcement community to increase the probability of identifying and rescuing more child sexual abuse victims through international collaboration.

Pursuant to the passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act in 2006, HTCP partners with the U.S. Marshals Service, along with other domestic law enforcement agencies, and assists with international notifications of convicted sex offenders who visit, relocate, and/or are deported to foreign countries.

photo of a sign that says put the brakes on human traffickingHTCP also collaborates with ICE in order to protect children worldwide from sexual predators involved with smuggling, trafficking, and child pornography under Operation Predator. Many of the individuals identified pursuant to Operation Predator are foreign sex offenders whose crimes make them removable from the United States. This program was initiated in 2003, and since that time, INTERPOL Washington has issued more than 5,277 Green Notices on these types of subjects. HTCP also actively issues and receives Notices from law enforcement entities related to cases concerning human trafficking and/or smuggling.

Please do not let U.S. borders or local geography deter or slow your quest for justice. HTCP notifications are worldwide in nature and are issued for violators entering and/or departing the United States, even for deportees, in some instances. HTCP as a prominent division of INTERPOL Washington will leverage its secure communications network and Notice issuances to communicate and collaborate with all of the other 189 INTERPOL member countries in furtherance of an investigation, apprehension, or notification scenario. Additionally, HTCP is integrated with 61 Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforces throughout the United States. These Taskforces, composed of domestic law enforcement authorities, combine with international law enforcement communities in furtherance of child exploitation investigations, along with the identification and rescue of potential child sexual abuse victims. For example, INTERPOL assisted in a recent ICE investigation concerning the production, distribution, and possession of child pornography. Investigators discovered images of an abused child clutching a stuffed rabbit. Use of the ICSE database maintained by INTERPOL assisted investigators in Amsterdam in identifying the child. That identification led to the eventual reuniting of the toddler with his family as well as the identification and dismantling of a massive child abuse network in the Netherlands. To date, serial child abusers in seven countries have been arrested and successfully prosecuted pursuant to this investigation.

photo of a dirty man with his hands on the shoulders of a little girlPlease keep in mind that although HTCP and INTERPOL Washington operate 24/7/365, each member country may have different requirements and needs when requested to enforce the laws of the United States, contact a host country citizen and/or visitor, or assist in an ongoing investigation, irrespective of the underlying violations. Rest assured, HTCP will remain supportive, assisting in every way possible to be sure justice is served; that the children are identified, protected, rescued, and returned home. For example, Notices issued to foreign countries are usually not cancelled until the subject of the Notice has physically returned to the United States.

If you believe HTCP may assist you, or if you would like to receive additional information, please contact HTCP directly at USNCB.HTCP@usdoj.gov. If time is of the essence, please feel free to contact the INTERPOL Operations and Command Center at 202-616-9000, which is available to provide assistance (24/7/365).

-Cynthia Pappas

Senior Social Science Analyst

The COPS Office

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