“Never Again” – Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities
To address the scourge of mass atrocities that sadly continue into the 21st century, the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights (JBI) promotes practical measures and strategies to prevent genocide. Applying the lessons of the Holocaust, Rwanda, Bosnia, and other horrific genocides and atrocities, JBI has sought to clarify the scope of every country’s obligation to prevent genocide, as set forth in the 1948 UN Convention against Genocide. At the urging of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, JBI worked with a team of experts to develop a Manual on Human Rights and the Prevention of Genocide. The Manual identifies 21 risk factors – conditions that entail serious human rights violations – that can trigger the responsibility of a state to prevent genocide, and suggests specific measures states can take to prevent such violations from spiraling out of control. As demonstrated by atrocity crimes committed against the Yazidis and other groups to this day, the potential for future genocides remains, and there is a great need to identify the triggers and limit this risk. The Manual has been distributed to government officials, UN bodies, and other experts, drawing their attention to precipitating factors today so that preventive action may be taken and atrocities averted.