Enhancing the Mass Atrocity Prevention Toolkit

On Friday 25 November, The Hague Institute organized a workshop as part of the NWO-WOTRO funded project the Mass Atrocity Prevention Toolkit: Assessing the Effectiveness and Ethics of Mass Atrocity Prevention Policies with Case Studies of Syria and Kenya. The project consortium consists of Professor Edward Newman from the University of Leeds, Dr. Karambu Ringera from International Peace Initiatives, and Dr. Samir Naser from the University of Birmingham.

The workshop brought together a variety of experts including researchers, policy-makers, academics, and civil society representatives to critically assess the preliminary research conducted by the project consortium and to provide feedback on how to better tailor the findings so that these can be most usefully integrated into policy processes.

The workshop started with a presentation from Professor Jennifer Welsh (former United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect) on the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes. Ensuing debates focused on early warning and conflict vulnerability factors as well as the challenges of identifying and acting upon to early warning indicators, and the issue of how resources should be allocated within atrocity prevention and reaction programs. Specific attention was paid to the situations of Kenya and Syria, and international actions and omissions. These cases illustrate critical pathways of atrocity prevention policies and lessons learned. Some issues that participants raised for the project consortium to consider in their work on how to enhance the mass atrocity prevention toolkit cover the need to identify entry points, stakeholders, and ways to engage with leaders of tribes or religious leaders.

As next steps, the project consortium will incorporate the feedback and suggestions provided by the experts and will present the research findings in a policy brief.

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