Newsroll: Baha’is, R2P, and social media

Roméo Dallaire on the Baha’is of Iran

Canadian senator and retired general Romeo Dallaire speaks about the escalation of human rights violations against the Baha’is of Iran. He believes these human rights violations could lead to mass atrocities if the world refuses to act.


R2P and Europe: on the importance of focal points

“First Regional R2P Focal Points Meeting for Europe in Slovenia”

From 10-11 April the Government of the Republic of Slovenia hosted the first Regional R2P National Focal Points Meeting for Europe. Participants included national focal points and representatives from 31 countries, representative of the UN, the ICC, the ICMPD, the EU, and the OSCE as well as NGOs. Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, was also present. The objective of the meeting was to advance the principle of R2P in Europe. Participants exchanged their views, experience and expectations. The establishment of national focal points within national legislatures is one of the major objectives of the proponents of the R2P doctrine. R2P Focal points have the ability to build national capacities on the prevention of mass atrocities: parliamentarians can hold government accountable for the lack of action taken to prevent atrocities. The Regional meeting was organized in association with the Global centre for the Responsibility to Protect. As you can see think tanks and non-NGOs are at the forefront of the promotion of mass atrocity prevention and R2P, constantly pushing governments to stay true to their commitments.

Social media and prevention

The Auschwitz Institute has issued an interesting podcast with Andrew Stroehlein, European Media Director for Human Rights Watch and former Director of Communications at the International Crisis Group. Stroehlein speaks about media monitoring, the potential and challenges of social media, including in terms of prevention.

As Stroehlein rightly argues “media monitoring generally is very crucial for that early warning.” We saw it with the Rwandan genocide and RTLM radio. I am a strong believer that social media can be used to early warning and for advocacy. This is what many call “the power of witness.” For more information on the “power of witness”, you want to look at Harvard Kennedy School’s Mass Atrocity Response Operations (MARO) project, Hatebase and  Satellite Sentinel Project


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