Aluminum wire taken from a mass gravesite—it was used to fasten the hands of a victim from Srebrenica. Bosnia Serb forces killed an estimated 8,000 Muslim men and boys following the fall of Srebenic in 1995, and in an attempt to hide the evidence of these murders, later moved many bodies to secondary or tertiary mass grave sites. U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum photo

The FBI has had authority to investigate human rights issues since 1988, when Congress made genocide a crime under U.S. law. Presidential Executive Order 13107, issued in 1998, is the principal authority that directs our nation’s commitment to international human rights treaties and responsibilities in the enforcement of human rights violations. The order stipulates that all government agencies must coordinate to enforce human rights laws within their own areas of responsibility. The FBI—through the Department of Justice—supports the multi-agency Atrocities Prevention Board, recently created by Presidential Study Directive 10 to strengthen the U.S. government’s ability to foresee, prevent, and respond to genocide and mass atrocities.

While the term “human rights” has different connotations, the responsibilities of the Department of Justice—and the FBI—relate primarily to enforcement matters of four specific laws.

These four statutes typically grant the FBI jurisdiction when:

  • The perpetrator is a U.S. person,
  • The victim is a U.S. person, or
  • The perpetrator, regardless of nationality, is located in the U.S.


In the News
Map of Bosnia

Vermont Man Convicted

A naturalized citizen from Vermont was found guilty of obtaining his naturalized citizenship through fraud by giving false information. Details

More News & Features

 In Pursuit of…Joseph Kony

Joseph KonyIn 2005, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Joseph Kony—head of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)—and four other LRA leaders for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

In 2010, the U.S. enacted into law the Lord’s Resistance Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which reaffirmed U.S. commitment to support our nation’s regional partners’ efforts to end the atrocities in central Africa. Key objectives of the U.S. commitment include increased protection of civilians, continued humanitarian relief, and—where the FBI’s Genocide War Crimes Program plays a supportive role—the apprehension of Kony and other senior LRA commanders.


Contact the FBI
If you have any information about perpetrators of genocide, war crimes, or other related mass atrocities, please submit it to us at https://tips.fbi.gov/ or contact your local FBI office, domestically or internationally.