Victimized Overseas: What the U.S. Embassy or Consulate Can Do For You
Traveling overseas can be quite difficult for Americans because we are accustomed to certain rights as people as well as certain laws pertaining to our belongings and our well being. In other countries, with cultures very different from our own, it can be hard to understand the laws should you become a victim of a crime while visiting. Not only might you not understand the laws, you might not be able to get anyone that wants to help you understand the laws, or lack thereof. If you are victimized while overseas, you should definitely get in touch with the nearest U.S. Embassy or consulate as soon as possible so your rights and well being are looked after appropriately. Travels take us to great places, far from home, but the U.S. Embassy is always there to help American people as well as protect their rights.
Many people assume that the U.S. Embassy or consulate can bail you out of jail or provide you with legal advice, and this is simply not true. The U.S. Embassy is there to be sure that every American has access to people who will be able to help get you out of jail (or put someone in jail that has harmed you in some manner) and provide legal advice. The U.S. Embassy will provide you with a list of contacts that can help you recover what has been lost, as well as inform you of your rights. The U.S Embassy or consulate will do whatever they are able to do to protect your legitimate interests as well as ensure that you are not discriminated against for being a tourist or for being an American.
Lost Or Stolen Items
If you have items that are lost or stole, be it personal items such as cameras, clothing, jewelry, or travelers checks, the U.S Embassy, or consulate can help you contact the appropriate law enforcement so that you may be able to recover your property eventually. If you are robbed and you need medical attention, the U.S. Embassy can help you find a qualified doctor, hospital, or clinic for quality medical care, as well as help you inform authorities that you were robbed and assaulted. In situations such as this, the Embassy will simply act as an intermediary, ensuring that you have all the information and resources that you need.
If your passport is stolen you should call the U.S. Embassy as quickly as possible to inform them. You’ll want to get to the office the next business day so you can apply for a new passport so you can get home on schedule. If you have proof of identification, photographs, a police report, or someone who can identify you, you might have the passport the same day.
If You’re Arrested
If you are arrested, it’s possible that you have been victimized. When you don’t know the laws of the land, it’s possible that you feel like you have been wronged, when in fact, you have broken the law. Attempt to call the U.S. Embassy as soon as possible so that you can be put in contact with someone who can inform you of your rights and your best course of action. If you are not allowed to call the U.S. Embassy, politely insist that you are allowed to call until you are able to do so. Consulates can help get money from family and friends to provide you with bail, food, or proper clothing until you are released from jail.
If You Are Destitute
If you’ve lost or had all of your money stolen and you do not have enough money to eat, seek lodging, or get home you can contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate and they will get in touch with family and friends and help them get money to you. If your money has been stolen, the Embassy will also help you get in contact with the proper authorities so that you may file a police report.
The U.S. Embassy or consulate cannot change the laws of the area that you may be victimized in, but they can help you find the answers you need to understand the law and your rights. The U.S. Embassy is there to be sure that Americans aren’t treated unfairly, and that they get the justice they deserve. If you are traveling overseas, it’s important that you carry the U.S. Embassy or consulate contact information so that when you are victimized you can take action as quickly as possible.
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