Interpol Yellow Notice

Interpol Yellow Notices

Interpol Yellow Notices are issued for the purpose of seeking information on unidentified persons who may have committed a crime. The notice includes a physical description of the person and any other identifying information, such as aliases or distinguishing characteristics.

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Interpol Yellow Notice

Over 630,000 people are reported missing annually, leaving thousands of families desperate for answers and law enforcement agencies racing against time. Amidst all this chaos, Interpol’s yellow notices are a valuable law enforcement tool to connect missing persons with their families worldwide.

From criminal abductions of minors to parental abductions or unexplained disappearances, the Interpol yellow notice list is crucial in reuniting people with their loved ones. This article looks at the crucial role of yellow notices in promoting international visibility for missing/ abducted persons cases.

Discover Interpol Yellow Notice meaning, its impact on international crime, and how the lawyers at the Collegium of International Lawyer can help you challenge or remove them.

What is Interpol Yellow Notice?

An Interpol Yellow Notice is an international alert used by law enforcement agencies to help locate missing persons, often minors, or to identify persons who are unable to identify themselves. Issued by Interpol at the request of member countries, a Yellow Notice serves as a vital tool in international police cooperation. This global police alert circulates descriptive information and photographs of the missing or unidentified persons to police in all member countries, facilitating a coordinated global effort to locate and identify these individuals.

When is a Yellow Notice Published?

Yellow Notice Interpol is published when a person, particularly a minor, is reported missing under suspicious or concerning circumstances. According to Interpol’s rules, these circumstances could include potential criminal abductions, trafficking, or any situation where the person’s welfare is at risk. Additionally, this global police alert is issued to help identify persons unable to identify themselves due to various reasons such as mental illness, amnesia, or being too young to communicate their identity.

The process begins when the competent national authorities collect and verify information about the Interpol missing person list. This information is then forwarded to the Interpol General Secretariat through the country’s Central Bureau. The general secretariat reviews the request and, if it meets the criteria, issues the Yellow Notice, making the information accessible to law enforcement agencies across its 195 member states.

How to Report that a Person is Missing?

Reporting a missing individual, especially when a Yellow Notice might be applicable, is a multi-step process that requires coordination between local and international law enforcement agencies. Here’s a detailed breakdown of each step:

Initial Report

1. Contact Local Police Authority:

  • Immediate Action: As soon as it is suspected that a person is missing, contact your local police authority or law enforcement agency immediately. Quick action can be crucial in locating the missing individual.
  • Detailed Information: Provide comprehensive information about the missing individual. This includes:
    • Physical Description: Age, height, weight, hair color, eye color, distinguishing marks (scars, tattoos).
    • Photographs: Recent and clear photographs that can aid in identification.
    • Last Known Whereabouts: Details about where and when the person was last seen.
    • Circumstances of Disappearance: Share critical information linked to a person with relevant context, such as potential threats, unusual behavior, or circumstances suggesting abduction or foul play.
  • Contact Information: Ensure that law enforcement has your contact information for follow-up and further questioning if needed.

National Central Bureau (NCB)

2. Forwarding the Case:

  • Role of NCB: The local law enforcement agencies from one of the member countries request for a yellow notice by forwarding the case to the country’s National Central Bureau (NCB). The NCB serves as a bridge between national police and Interpol, facilitating international cooperation.
  • Evaluation: The NCB will review the details of the case to determine if it meets the criteria for Interpol Yellow Notices. This involves assessing the risk to the missing person and the likelihood that international assistance is required.

Interpol Submission

3. Preparing the Request:

  • Detailed Submission: If the Interpol National Central Bureau (NCB) determines that a Yellow Notice is warranted, they will prepare a formal request to Interpol. This request includes:
    • Comprehensive Details: All pertinent information about the missing person as initially provided, including updated or additional information that may have been gathered.
    • Supporting Documents: Any legal documents or reports that support the case, such as police reports, witness statements, and any relevant legal judgments or custody details.
    • Photographs and Identifiers: High-quality photographs and biometric data (if available) to assist in the identification process.

Notice Issuance

4. Interpol Review:

  • Verification: Interpol’s General Secretariat reviews the submission for completeness and compliance with their rules and regulations. This ensures that the information is accurate and that the issuance of the notice respects international legal standards.
  • Approval and Circulation: Upon approval, Interpol publishes the Yellow Notice. This notice is then circulated to all member states, making the details of the missing person available to law enforcement agencies worldwide.
  • International Distribution: The notice is uploaded to Interpol’s secure global police communications network, I-24/7, which allows immediate access by police in all member states.

Enhancing Search Efforts

5. Leveraging International Cooperation:

  • Global Search: The Yellow Notice alerts international law enforcement to the missing person, significantly widening the search area and resources available.
  • Border Control and Airports: Information from this valuable law enforcement tool is shared with border officials and airports, enhancing the chances of intercepting the missing person or identifying individuals traveling with them.
  • Local and International Media: In some cases, information from these Interpol Notices may also be shared with the public through media channels, increasing public awareness and the likelihood of tips and sightings.

Follow-Up and Coordination

6. Continuous Updates:

  • Ongoing Investigation: The local law enforcement and NCB continue to investigate the case, now with the added support of international resources. They may receive and act on information from other countries’ police forces.
  • Communication: Families and reporting individuals are kept informed of any developments and are encouraged to provide any new information that may assist in the search.

How Interpol Lawyers Can Help?

Interpol lawyers play an indispensable role in challenging and seeking the deletion of Yellow Notices. At the Collegium of International Lawyers, our experienced legal team specializes in advocating for clients who believe Yellow Notices have been unjustly issued against them. A Yellow Notice can significantly impact a minor’s life, affecting their ability to travel abroad, attend school, and live without undue stress and scrutiny.

Ensuring the prompt and correct deletion of an unjust Yellow Notice is essential to protect the minor’s rights and future opportunities. Our lawyers ensure compliance with all relevant legal standards, meticulously prepare and verify the necessary documentation, and protect your rights throughout the process. We leverage our expertise to challenge the validity of the notice, presenting compelling arguments and evidence to Interpol for its deletion.

Lawyer Kendall Coffey
Kendall Coffey
Senior Partner
Mr. Coffey is a former U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Florida (1993-1996); and served as Chair of, the Southern District Conference, Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission (April 2009 – January 2017).
What to do if you receive a notice from Interpol
If you have received a notice from Interpol, you should contact your local law enforcement agency. They will be able to provide you with more information and help you take the appropriate action. Interpol's Yellow Notice system was designed to help law enforcement agencies locate and identify missing persons, whether they are victims of crime or witnesses, or simply missing. The Yellow Notice includes the name and last known location of the missing person, as well as any identifying information such as scars, tattoos, or birthmarks. Interpol also works with national authorities to issue Amber Alerts when a child goes missing. If you have received a notice from Interpol, you should contact your local law enforcement agency.
What is the purpose of an Interpol Yellow Notice?
he purpose of a Yellow Notice is primarily to assist in locating missing persons, especially children, and in identifying individuals who are unable to identify themselves due to reasons such as amnesia, age (very young children), or other mental or physical disabilities.
How is a Yellow Notice issued?
An Interpol member country submits a request for a Yellow Notice through its National Central Bureau to the General Secretariat of Interpol. The request includes relevant information about the missing or unidentified person.
Who can be the subject of a Yellow Notice?
Anyone who is missing and whose whereabouts are unknown can be the subject of a Yellow Notice. This frequently includes children suspected of being abducted, elderly people who are lost, or individuals with mental health issues who are missing.
Is a Yellow Notice publicly accessible?
Yes, Yellow Notices are typically publicly accessible. Interpol publishes them on its website to maximize the chances of the public assisting in locating the missing or unidentified individuals.
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