Under the War Crimes Rewards Program (WCRP), the U.S. Department of State offers rewards of up to $5 million (USD) to individuals who provide information that leads to the arrest, transfer, or conviction of designated defendants accused of crimes against humanity, genocide, or war crimes by an international criminal tribunal, including hybrid or mixed tribunals. The Department of State’s Office of Global Criminal Justice (GCJ) manages the WCRP in close coordination with partners within the U.S. government, foreign governments, international tribunals, and non-governmental organizations.
The WCRP has led to the arrest and capture of fugitives from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The ICTY has accounted for all 161 individuals it has indicted. Of the 90 individuals indicted by the ICTR, six fugitives remain at large.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the War Crimes Rewards Program (WCRP)?
The WCRP is operated by the United States Department of State and offers rewards of up to $5 million for information that leads to the arrest, transfer, or conviction of certain individuals who are accused of war crimes, genocide, or crimes against humanity as defined by the law applicable in international, hybrid, or mixed tribunals.
- Who operates the WCRP?
The Office of Global Criminal Justice in the U.S. State Department runs the WCRP.
- What is an international criminal tribunal, or hybrid or mixed tribunal?
Examples of international criminal tribunals include International Criminal Court (ICC) as well as the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia (the ICTR and ICTY). A hybrid court is generally understood to be a stand-alone court that is created through an agreement between a national government and an international organization, such as the United Nations. These are usually staffed by a mix of international and national personnel (judges, prosecutors, investigators, defense counsel). For instance, the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) was created through an agreement between the United Nations and the government of Sierra Leone. A mixed court is more intimately embedded within the domestic judicial system of the state in question, often by way of specialized chambers. These too are staffed with a mix of local and international personnel.
- Are rewards paid for submitting information about any individual who has been accused by an international, hybrid, or mixed criminal tribunal?
The Department of State offers rewards for information related only to specific individuals who are designated by the Secretary of State. The fugitives for whom the Department of State may offer rewards are publicized on our Twitter and Facebook accounts.
- What rewards are being offered at the moment?
The WCRP currently offers rewards for information related to the following individuals:
Fulgence Kayishema, Aloys Ndimbati, Charles Sikubwabo, and Ryandikayo – all wanted by the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals for crimes committed in Rwanda.
Joseph Kony – wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes committed in Uganda.
- Where can I see photos of the people wanted?
- I have information on someone else who has committed war crimes, genocide, or crimes against humanity. Whom should I talk to?
The WCRP is only collecting information about the specific individuals listed above. Please only contact the WCRP if you have information about these individuals.
- Why don’t you offer rewards for other individuals who have committed such crimes?
Per U.S. law, the WCRP can only offer rewards for designated individuals who are wanted for war crimes, genocide, or crimes against humanity as defined by the law applicable in international, hybrid, or mixed tribunals. The U.S. Secretary of State designates individuals into the WCRP.
- Does the State Department offer any other rewards?
There are three other reward programs operated by the Department of State: the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program, the Narcotics Rewards Program, and Rewards for Justice (for rewards related to terrorism).
- Who is eligible to receive rewards?
Any person, including U.S. citizens, who provides information leading to the arrest, transfer, or conviction of a designated individual may be eligible to receive a reward. However, U.S. and foreign government officials, including military and police, are not eligible to receive WCRP rewards if the information is furnished while in the performance of official duties.
If you are a government official or are in the military or law enforcement and you have information about a designated fugitive, you can still contact the Program and we can help you figure out whether you would be eligible for a reward.
- How do I know the WCRP is real?
You can read more about the WCRP on the Office of Global Criminal Justice’s official State Department webpage.
- Can I work for the WCRP or partner with you to search for the fugitives?
We do not offer employment and are not seeking assistance other than information about the designated fugitives.
- Will you keep my identity confidential?
Your identity and all identifying information is 100% confidential. We do not publish anything about the recipients of rewards under the WCRP.
- What rewards has the WCRP paid in the past?
We take the anonymity of our reward recipients very seriously for their safety. All rewards that are paid remain confidential. Over the life of the WCRP, the Program has paid more than $8 million, and informants within the program have contributed to more than 20 cases. However, we cannot share any specifics about individual cases.
- How do I contact the WCRP?
You can contact the WCRP via text message, SMS, or WhatsApp on +1-202-975-5468 or via email at email@example.com. You can also bring information to the nearest U.S. Embassy or any U.S. Government official.
- Can I talk to the WCRP on the phone?
We are unable to take voice calls. Please send a message via WhatsApp, text, or email.
- I have information about a fugitive, but I fear for my safety. How will you protect me?
The WCRP cannot offer protection, but we keep your identity completely confidential and will not share it with anyone without your express permission. If you receive a reward, you can use the money to relocate or otherwise help keep you and your family safe.
- Can the WCRP relocate me to the US or help me get a visa?
No, we cannot help you relocate or get a visa.
- Can the WCRP offer me or my family protection?
We cannot offer you protection. If you get a reward, part of the purpose of the reward money is to help keep you and your family safe.
- If I am related to one of the fugitives; can I receive a reward?
Yes, family members, or others who are known to the fugitive, can receive a reward for information that leads to the arrest, transfer, or conviction of the designated individual.
- If I give information to the relevant court or tribunal, or to other law enforcement personnel, and not to the WCRP directly, can I still be eligible for an award?
Yes. A court, tribunal, or law enforcement personnel can recommend that you receive a reward. The WCRP takes these recommendations very seriously.
- Can you give me any money in advance?
No, we cannot give any money in advance. The fugitive must be arrested, transferred to, or convicted by a tribunal for you to receive a reward.
- Are all rewards $5 million?
No. Rewards are up to $5 million. The amount of the reward depends on a number of factors, including: the fugitive in question; how much the information contributed to the arrest, transfer, or conviction; and whether the recipient broke any laws or cooperated with law enforcement.
- Can you promise that I will get a reward if I give you information?
Rewards must be approved by the U.S. Secretary of State, so we cannot guarantee or promise rewards.
- What has to happen for me to receive a reward?
You can receive a reward if the fugitive is arrested, transferred to, or convicted by the relevant tribunal and if your information contributed to one of those outcomes. This contribution does not have to be big! You could receive a reward for information that seems unimportant, or information that confirms something that the WCRP already knows. If you know something, no matter how small, it is best to contact the WCRP.
- What if the fugitive dies?
You cannot receive a reward if the fugitive is dead when the information is provided or dies before they are arrested. But, if the fugitive dies in custody, you may still be eligible for a reward.
- What if my information is wrong or an effort to arrest the fugitive fails?
You cannot receive a reward if your information is wrong or if an arrest attempt fails. However, the WCRP wants to know any information that could be relevant, even if you are not sure if it is correct. The WCRP will not penalize you if your information is wrong or an attempt fails. If you know something, no matter how small, it is best to contact the WCRP.
- I think I can capture a fugitive myself. Will I be eligible for a reward?
The WCRP gives rewards for information only. Do not attempt to capture or arrest a fugitive yourself. Many fugitives are dangerous. If you attempt to capture a fugitive yourself, break local or international laws, fail to cooperate with local law enforcement, or put yourself or others in danger, it may affect whether you can receive a reward.
- What happens if I am approved to receive a reward?
If you receive a reward, you will be asked to sign a document stating that you understand that you will not receive any other money or protection from the U.S. government. You will then receive the money via wire transfer. If you are unable to receive a wire transfer, the WCRP will work with you to find an alternative solution.
- How much money will I get?
Rewards are up to $5 million. The amount of the reward depends on a number of factors, including the fugitive in question, how much the information contributed to the arrest, transfer, or conviction, and whether the recipient broke any laws or cooperated with law enforcement.
- How will you transfer the money to me?
If you are approved for a reward, money is usually transferred electronically into a bank account. If you are unable to receive a wire transfer, the WCRP will work with you to find an alternative solution.
- What is the statutory basis for the WCRP?