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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Combating Crime and Corruption


Transnational criminal syndicates and networks undermine the stability and security of all nations through their illicit enterprises. These networks span the globe, illegally moving drugs, arms, illegal contraband, trafficked women and children, laundered money, and engaging in financial fraud, counterfeiting, and cybercrime. The interwoven strands of such illicit and criminal transactions can make it almost impossible to separate one from the other.

In support of the U.S. National Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime, and other national security strategies, the U.S. government is committed to support domestic and international efforts on deterring and preventing the flow of illegal migrants into the United States, including through an emphasis on disrupting and dismantling trafficking networks before illegal migrants reach the U.S. In this regard, INL coordinates with and complements the activities of U.S. federal law enforcement agencies to disrupt and dismantle major migrant smuggling rings that operate both domestically and overseas in both source, transit and destination countries. INL provides a broad array of law enforcement training to partner countries on ways to combat migrant smuggling including training on interdiction and on how to prevent passport fraud. Other programs are designed to foster implementation of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants, a key source of international standards in this area. INL works closely with partners such as DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA), the Organization of American States, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and INTERPOL to implement these programs. Because migrant smuggling ignores and exploits national borders, INL programs promote international cooperation between the United States and our partners.

By building international coalitions and promoting capacity building, INL helps the U.S. government and partners overseas to respond more effectively to emerging crime challenges and seize opportunities to combat them.

Fight Networks with Networks: INL’s anti-crime programs and initiatives strengthen our country's national security and law enforcement infrastructure through policy coordination, effective training and technical assistance programs, and the development of diplomatic collaboration and public-private partnerships, which help to penetrate the intricate web of transnational crime, frustrate criminal activities, and dismantle illicit networks. One of our newer initiatives promotes law enforcement strategies and responses to counter wildlife trafficking.

Build and Implement International Commitments: INL negotiates treaty and regional commitments, such as the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), and monitors their implementation via the United Nations, Organization of American States, Council of Europe, Financial Action Task Force, G20, G8, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and other international fora.

Create Platforms for Cooperation and Sharing of Ideas: INL promotes intergovernmental collaboration and public-private partnerships – such as the Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific Partnerships on dismantling illicit networks, crime-terror pipelines, and asset recovery expert networks – that strengthen the capacities of international partners and facilitate information sharing.


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