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INL builds the ability of partner nations, as well as regional and global capacity, to combat criminal activity that can harm American citizens and national security. It does so largely through international training and mentoring programs, as well as the development of legal and institutional frameworks and relationships that enable diplomatic and law enforcement collaboration across borders.

INL’s specialized programs target:

  • Transnational organized crime
  • Wildlife trafficking and other environmental crime
  • Cybercrime and infringement on intellectual property rights
  • Human smuggling and challenges to border security
  • Corruption and money laundering that can facilitate other crimes

Establish and Implement International Commitments: International treaties establish shared rules for combating crime, and provide tools for legal cooperation in criminal cases among countries. On behalf of the United States INL negotiates treaty and regional commitments, such as the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)  and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) , and works with the Organization of American States, Council of Europe, Financial Action Task Force, G20, G7, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, and other international fora to monitor implementation.

INL helps the global community turn such shared international rules into concrete action toward reform and justice, including through strengthening mechanisms that monitor the implementation of commitments and bring peer pressure to encourage change.

Build Capacity and Will: INL helps foreign partners build capacity to address crime, and supports law enforcement cooperation across borders. Through development of training materials to address a specific type of crime, fostering transnational approaches to transnational crime through the work of the International Law Enforcement Academies (ILEAs), and through bilateral assistance to countries across the globe, INL advances the international fight against crime. To build momentum and will for anti-corruption and anti-crime initiatives and reforms, INL also works diplomatically with individual countries, regional international groups, and non-governmental organizations.

Staying Ahead of Trends: In addition to traditional areas of concern, INL also develops training to target and attempts to focus the international community on new and emerging criminal trends, such as trafficking in counterfeit medicines, cybercrime, and the smuggling of cultural properties. We also apply cutting-edge research, tools, and methods, such as DNA analysis of elephant tusks to identify poaching hotspots, chemical analysis of illegal drugs to determine country of origin, and the application of other high-tech tools in criminal investigations.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future