Washington, DC – The U.S. Marshals played host to this year’s meeting of the International Committee of Sex Offender Registries (ICSOR) Nov. 1 and 2 at the National Sex Offender Targeting Center in Arlington, Virginia.
The mission of the ICSOR is to collaborate on matters relating to the effective management of sex offenders, sex offender registries, related policies and legislation in order to enhance public safety. This year’s objectives are to improve the participants’ understanding of each represented sex offender registry and their related statutory framework, develop strategies to better share information about persons who commit transnational child sex offenses, and to identify successes and challenges in operating sex offender registration systems.
ICSOR membership is primarily composed of representatives from law enforcement agencies in Five Eyes countries -- Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States and New Zealand. However, this year’s meeting was attended by representatives from Mexico, where the country’s first sex offender registry system has been launched in Mexico City in recent years.
The USMS established a foreign field office in Mexico City in May 2001 to enhance the effectiveness of the USMS in the investigation in and apprehension of U.S. fugitives who fled the U.S. and are located within the Republic of Mexico, as well as coordinating the location and apprehension of foreign fugitives from Mexico located in the U.S. A USMS chief inspector who advises on matters pertaining to International Megan’s Law has travelled to Mexico City several times to help develop strong relationships with the USMS Foreign Field Office counterparts there.
Marcela Figueroa Franco, Undersecretary for Institutional Development at the Ministry of Citizen Security of Mexico City, discusses the creation of the first public sex offender registry of Mexico City International Megan's Law (IML) was signed into law on Feb. 8, 2016. The law formally established the Angel Watch Center, a joint effort between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the USMS. IML created a 21-day international travel reporting requirement for all registered sex offenders and mandated a sex offender passport endorsement be issued to all ‘covered’ offenders under the law. Meeting attendees traveled to Fairfax Tuesday afternoon to get a closer look at operations within the Angel Watch Center.
Wednesday’s presentations included INTERPOL’s Project Soteria, the organization’s efforts to work with aid organizations to combat the sexual exploitation of vulnerable communities, preventing sexual offenders from using their positions to access and offend against children, and strengthening the capacity of law enforcement to investigate, prosecute and arrest those who abuse aid recipients.
A representative from the USMS Behavioral Analysis Unit also discussed Interdiction for the Protection of Children, a program begun in 2006 by the Texas Department of Public Safety, and further developed with the help of the USMS, to train front-line officers to recognize indicators that a child may be a victim, at-risk of victimization or missing.
“This is an incredible working group that’s come together, and I’m excited to be able to witness and participate – at least in a cursory sense -- to watch and see how the international partnerships are able to work together to establish policies and procedures and really discuss best practices,” said Henry Geberth, acting Assistant Director of the USMS Investigative Operations Division. “Your mission is honestly one of the most important missions that law enforcement encompasses, and your participation through your countries and through your agencies is truly noted and I just wanted to come up here and say thank you.”
This year’s attendees of the hybrid meeting included over 80 persons representing more than 25 agencies. Participating agencies included the Department of Homeland Security’s Angel Watch Center; the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs; the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Canadian Border Services Agency; INTERPOL; Victoria Police (Australia); New Zealand Police; Mexico City Attorney General’s Office; Mexico City Secretariat of Citizen Security; Mexico City Secretariat of Women; ECPAT; the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children; as well as multiple representatives from state, tribal, and territory sex offender registration systems in the United States.
Link to photos: https://www.flickr.com/gp/usmarshals/A2Yh6g2jn6