An interior ministry (sometimes called ministry of internal affairs or ministry of home affairs) is a government ministry responsible for internal affairs, particularly public security, emergency management, civil registration and identification, supervision of regional and local governments, conduct of elections, public administration and immigration (including passport issuance) matters. Such a ministry is often headed by a minister of the interior, a minister of internal affairs or a minister of home affairs.
Remit and role
In some countries, public security belongs to a separate ministry (often titled "ministry of public order", "ministry of security" etc.), with the interior ministry being limited to control over local governments, public administration, elections, etc. Notable examples include Greece (Ministry of Citizen Protection) and Israel (Ministry of Public Security).
In countries with a federal constitution, interior ministers will often be found at both the federal and sub-national levels. Similarly, autonomous entities and dependent territories may also have interior ministers.
In certain jurisdictions, similarly-named government departments may have other responsibilities. In the United States, the Department of the Interior has radically different functions—primarily the management and conservation of natural resources, and programs and policies dealing with indigenous peoples. The functions that fall under what most other countries call an "interior ministry" come under other government departments—mostly the Department of Homeland Security (established in 2002 with functions such as immigration management, public safety and disaster relief), with some others falling under the Department of Justice (with functions such as handling the national police and the management of prisons) and individual state governments (e.g. election management).
In Hong Kong, the Secretary for Home Affairs is responsible for matters relating to communities, culture, sports and local governance. Policing and related matters are the responsibilities of the Secretary for Security.
In India, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is responsible for internal security and demographics, promoting the official languages. It carries out specialized functions through its departments, namely the Department of Border Management, the Department of Internal Security, the Department of Jammu & Kashmir Affairs, the Department of Home, the Department of Official Language and the Department of States. As such it heads such functions as the internal intelligence, and police and Civil Services of India, also handling protocol, freedom-fighter pensions and manning of the courts.
In Japan, law enforcement is decentralised with the National Public Safety Commission coordinating between the National Police Agency and the government through its chairman, who is a cabinet member. National security and immigration matters fall under the Ministry of Justice, whilst the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications handles the administrative system, local government, elections, telecommunication and post matters.
In Vietnam, the Ministry of Public Security is responsible for policing, national security, and immigration matters.
- Sainty, J. C. (1973). "Introduction". Office-Holders in Modern Britain: Volume 2 - Officials of the Secretaries of State 1660-1782. British History Online. University of London. pp. 1–21.
At the Restoration [in 1660] the practice of appointing two Secretaries of State, which was well established before the Civil War, was resumed. Apart from the modifications which were made necessary by the occasional existence of a third secretaryship, the organisation of the secretariat underwent no fundamental change from that time until the reforms of 1782 which resulted in the emergence of the Home and Foreign departments.
- MHA, India. "Ministry of Home Affairs, India". Union Government of India. Govt of India, National Informatics Centre. Archived from the original on 19 October 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
- MHA, Govt of India. "Pink Book" (PDF). http://mha.nic.in/. Retrieved 24 June 2014.