Speak up to prevent mass atrocities

That mass atrocities and genocide should be prevented generates little debate. Where we become stuck as an international community is exactly what to do and when.

Left paralyzed by an inability to respond, governments inevitably allow the worst imaginable crimes to happen, as they did in Rwanda in 1994. During 100 days, an estimated 800,000 men, women and children lost their lives, while countless others were physically maimed and psychologically wounded.

Meanwhile, 100,000 young Rwandans were left orphaned, leaving 30,000 children to head their households, according to UNICEF.

By catching the early signs of violent outbreak, and addressing the conflict’s origins, the international community can go far in preventing future massacres and the debilitating aftermath.

Action: Ask senators to co-sponsor S. Con. Res. 71

Through its Advocacy Fund, Oxfam America is conducting a letter-writing campaign to urge U.S. Senators to co-sponsor S. Con. Res. 71.

The resolution bids the Obama Administration to assemble the tools necessary to prevent war crimes by:

  • Creating an effective mass atrocities early warning system
  • Investing development dollars in programs that tackle the root causes of conflict
  • Facilitating negotiations between adversaries
  • Engaging with regional and international partners in preventive peacekeeping initiatives

Maine Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe have already signed on as co-sponsors, so I edited my Oxfam letter to thank them and ask for their continued support.

Be sure to check out where your senators stand and contact them with your thoughts.

File Photo (Kigali, Rwanda, Aug. 4, 2010): A woman watches a political rally while clutching an empty sleeve behind her back outside the capital Kigali, five days before Rwanda's presidential elections. Photo by REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly.
Posted In: action, advocacy, child soldier, children, crimes/humanity, genocide, orphaned child, sexual violence | Tags:
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