On April 23, 2012, President Barack Obama announced the creation of the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB), a high-level, interagency group responsible for developing atrocities prevention and response strategies for the U.S. government. In this fact sheet, Human Rights First offers an overview of the new board and recommendations for the Board.
Syria in Crisis - Timeline from March 2011 to March 2012
An effective genocide prevention strategy must include identifying and pressuring third-party enablers—individuals, commercial entities, and countries—in order to interrupt the supply chains that fuel mass violence against civilians.
Mass atrocities are organized crimes whose perpetrators need money, weapons, transportation, and other means to commit widespread and systematic violence against civilians.
President Obama’s Presidential Study Directive on Mass Atrocities is an important step toward institutionalizing effective mass atrocity prevention and response policy, a goal Human Rights First has long advocated. In a letter to National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon, Human Rights First offers recommendations for the soon to be established Atrocities Prevention Board.
A company risks enabling mass atrocities when it provides resources, goods, services, or other forms of practical support that help sustain crimes against humanity or genocide. These crimes may take place far from the company’s headquarters, and the company may not have direct contact with the perpetrators of the atrocities themselves. But where support from the private sector helps to sustain such a campaign of violence against civilians, companies should exercise extreme caution to avoid acting as enablers.
Written in 2008 in response to the atrocities in Darfur, this guide outlines three innovative ideas to enhance the effectiveness of arms embargoes. Targeting parts of the arms supply chain, such as logistics providers, or engaging the original suppliers of specific weapons systems, would have a significant impact in reducing transfers.
Genocide is a crime under international law, and States are obligated to prevent, punish, and refrain from complicity in it. In a landmark 2007 case interpreting the Genocide Convention, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) held that the duty to prevent genocide attaches as soon as a State knows or should have known that genocide is occurring.