You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘From the AIPR Team’ category.

Satellites, Mass Media and Genocide Prevention: Are Tech Advances Leading to Preventative Results on the Ground?


AIThe proliferation of satellite imaging technology within the field of genocide and mass atrocity prevention in recent years has been a game changer by expanding the toolkit used for raising awareness and bolstering advocacy efforts. Never before have NGOs, governments and advocates been able to access previously inaccessible areas (Darfur, Syria) in order to establish visual certainty of crimes against humanity and mass atrocities. More specifically, these gains in technological capacity to monitor hot spots have resulted in the reduced ability of governments to operate in shadows and darkness that so often enable mass atrocity crimes. Many see the growth of this technology as a means of leveling the playing field between the victims and perpetrators of atrocity crimes. Given the fact that the use of geo-spatial technology to monitor atrocities is rather inchoate, how much leveling occurs is yet to be seen. Nonetheless, the growth of such technology represents a hopeful addition to the variety of options that the international community can explore to prevent or at least mitigate conflicts, mass atrocities and genocide.

One of the first initiatives of this kind was spearheaded by the United States Holocaust Museum and Google, who partnered together using Google Earth, to create the USHM’s Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative. Through utilizing the revolutionary visual capabilities of Google Earth, the USHM saw an unprecedented opportunity to help the international community better view the ongoing genocide in Darfur. Along with on the ground data and photographs from local advocates, the UN and the U.S. Department of State, Google and the USHM were able to offer a harrowing picture of the extent of destruction and loss that had occurred in Darfur. The impact of this initiative was profound, and at the time, helped ordinary citizens envision what a genocide looks like. Many also hoped it would create an accessible record of abuses that may support accountability and dissuade potential crimes (not only in Darfur but other situations). But USHM’s datasets and maps are currently outdated and do not reflect present-day Sudanese military movements that may indicate a potential for mass atrocities. While USHM’s mapping initiative is useful in demonstrating what genocide looks like, its current operational utility and power to influence is hampered from the lack of a sustained mapping program (as its data is current to only 2009).

sat2Also leading the way was Amnesty International’s Eyes On Darfur project, which used the power of high-resolution satellite imagery to deliver irrefutable proof of the atrocities committed in Darfur. Amnesty’s Eyes On Darfur broke new ground by creating the technological capacity to allow people around the world to literally “watch over” specific villages in Darfur using commercially available satellite imagery. In particular, a recent report on the ongoing village razing by Sudanese troops in Blue Nile state utilized DigitalGlobe satellites to provide irrefutable proof of blatant attacks against civilian populations. Although the Eyes on Darfur Project was discontinued, Amnesty’s use of satellite imagery has continued with its Science for Human Rights Initiative. This ongoing project leverages geospatial technologies like satellite imagery for human rights monitoring and conflict prevention. Amnesty believes that “these new tools allow us to gain access to previously inaccessible conflict zones, provide compelling visual evidence and present information in a new and engaging way, all of which assists our activists in their campaigning efforts.”

Another important aspect of this emerging tool is that it helps minimize impunity for crimes against humanity by providing permanent and broadly accessible data for use by the international justice system. In 2006, Amnesty International USA partnered with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to record hard evidence of housing demolitions in Zimbabwe. The data collected through this project was featured in a 2006 report that was used during litigation in the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.  Amnesty’s initiatives have also branched into the Syrian civil war with the Eyes on Syria project. Furthermore, AI has used satellites to document ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan, war crimes in Sri Lanka and illegal torture camps in North Korea. While it’s likely true that this burgeoning technological capacity won’t be able prevent civilian deaths on a massive scale in its current form, its ability to document and corroborate crimes and enhance the capabilities of international justice systems is very real.

sent_satPerhaps most emblematic of the growing capacity to influence the international community through satellite imaging is the Satellite Sentinel Project. This initiative is the first sustained public effort to systematically monitor and report on potential hot spots and threats to human security in near real-time. With satellite imagery capabilities supplied from tech-firm DigitalGlobe, the Sentinel Project is able to provide the international community with a constant stream of images from conflict zones in Sudan. By using networks of informants and local-activists on the ground, the Project is able to locate hot spots and areas where potential crimes have been committed. According to the Enough Project’s Akshaya Kumar and John Prendergast, images from the Sentinel Project “have allowed us to secure proof of mass graves, the deliberate burning of at least 292 square miles of farms and grasslands and the destruction of 26 civilian villages in Sudan’s South Kordofan state and 16 villages in Blue Nile state.”

The Sentinel Project has achieved more than just proving atrocities occurred—it predicted how a Sudanese invasion of Abyei in 2011 would occur, all the way down to the specific road Sudanese troops used. It has also been cited as evidence in the International Criminal Court investigation of recent alleged crimes in Sudan. The predictive and early warning capacities of the Satellite Sentinel Project has moved the ball down the court in terms of the impact satellite technologies can have in preventing how atrocities may unfold. Their close relationship with the Enough Project allows them to funnel information to an established advocacy group that can use it to pressure policymakers to act. According to Jonathan Hutson of Enough, “what’s transformative is that we can share high-resolution commercial satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe, so that you can see the same information that lands on the president’s desk during his daily Sudan briefings.” Having firmly establish roots in the DC policy circles, the Enough Project can use this satellite data to not only provide the public with similar data that arrives on the President’s desk, but to deliver it to decision-makers and administration officials who posses the political/ military power to halt atrocities. Such is a model of mass atrocity advocacy that is worth replicating and building upon.

While the advances in technological capacity to monitor genocide and mass atrocities are indeed groundbreaking, there remains much more to be seen in translating this newfound power to demonstrable results. AIPR Academic Programs Director and Cohen Professor for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College, Dr. James Waller, claimed that with these technologies the world can no longer use a lack of information as an excuse for inaction. “So now the issue is going to be can we take that information and translate it into action,” said Waller.

sat1Experience shows how these new tools are not fail-safe. Late last year, Amnesty heavily relied upon boots-on-the-ground information gathering in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the M23, an armed rebel group, was attacking villages. Why? The area was prone to thunderstorms and about 90 percent of the images they received from satellites were obscured by clouds. Gaining access to high-quality satellite imaging is also incredibly expensive, especially for an NGO community constantly struggling for funding. It also takes time to accurately analyze satellite images—a fact that limits the ability to access real-time data and respond to atrocities occurring in quickly developing situations.

While satellite technology certainly helps advocate for action in the face of mass atrocities, they are no guarantee in halting such crimes. The Eyes on Darfur Project and the USHM’s Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative ran for several years, yet crimes against civilian populations occured unabated in Blue Nile state and Darfur. Even with the recent warning of a new Sudanese offensive in South Kordofan by the Satellite Sentinel Project, the ability of these advocacy efforts to prevent civilian deaths on the ground (on a large-scale) hasn’t been realized. One potent criticism is that there are many separate satellite initiatives being launched simultaneously without any broader coordination or harmonization of efforts. On the advocacy side of the equation, there could also be a greater effort to coordinate the pressuring of relevant power brokers with the latest evidence of potential atrocities.

The transformative capabilities of using satellites in the genocide prevention community should be seen as an essential new medium for watching governments and monitoring potential atrocity crimes. Despite the limitations of such technologies, we should be enthusiastic about the possibilities they present for the future of the mass atrocity prevention and advocacy community. With high-quality satellite imagery, the prevention community can better push governments and the UN to act in anticipation of atrocity situations. But the technology alone is not a deterrent. As Patrick Phillipe Meier noted on his forward-thinking iRevolution blog, “the use of surveillance was always coupled to the threat of punishment for deviant acts.” So is high-quality satellite imagery enough of a deterrent to dissuade atrocity crimes based on the real threat of punishment from the international community? Official state actors haven’t made it publicly clear that punishments will be carried out based on satellite imagery proving past or present atrocity crimes. Yet this is essential for creating an effective deterrent.

darfur1Although evidence provided from satellite imagery is increasingly used in courts as evidence, all one needs to do is look at Darfur to realize how effective this threat of punishment has been. For the USIP’s Matthew Levinger, early warning systems employing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology “may have the greatest value not for public advocacy movements but rather for policy practitioners charged with designing and implementing responses to emerging threats.” In its present form, such technology is better positioned to help populations in conflict zones coordinate defensive or evasive strategies against threats of atrocities. A good example of the possibilities for future platforms is Invisible Children’s LRA Crisis Tracker, which, although relying more on social media and cloud computing software, is helpful in issuing warnings to communities in danger.

Although the benefits of such technology in recent years are as undeniable as the evidence they seek to publicize, there remains a ways to go in reaching a point where satellite imaging can consistently and effectively halt genocide and mass atrocities before they start. Ultimately technology can’t create political will, only people can.

Bridging the Gap Between Words and Action: The Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention

By: Chris Kousouros, Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention Program Coordinator

RedIf working on the political side of genocide prevention has taught me anything, it’s that there is an immense amount of awe-inspiring ideas conceived and bravely put forth every day. Often the only thing more impressive than an idea itself is the distance that exists between its initial utterance and its realization, even in its most basic form. This distance has claimed the lives of so many wonderful ideas.

So how does one successfully begin a regional network of governments focused expressly on the implementation of public policies and mandatory training for public officials on genocide and mass atrocity prevention? It started with a good idea—backed up by commitment and action.

We had just completed our intensive six-day Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention in Auschwitz, but officials from Argentina, Chile, Panama, and Brazil wanted to take prevention one step further.

The Lemkin Seminar consists of six days of training in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, where all participants—typically mid-to-high-level government employees from all over the world—have the opportunity to listen to and interact with some of the leading voices in genocide and mass atrocity prevention. The seminar addresses prevention from all angles: from the history of the term genocide, to specific case studies, to a theoretical analysis of R2P, to a psychological analysis of perpetrators. You name it, they learn about it. Our aim at the Auschwitz Institute is to create a community of mid-level government workers around the world who have the know-how to react appropriately to warning signs in their own countries or abroad, and to take the necessary steps towards prevention.

Not bad, right? Well apparently the participants from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Panama wanted more. Their vision was to create a regional network of governments focused expressly on the implementation of public policies and mandatory training for public officials on genocide and mass atrocity prevention. The idea was that if a network was created with the goal of pooling resources, expertise, and political will to create a regional network of genocide prevention sensitive states, and not just individuals, the output could become greater than the sum of its parts.

But how to bridge the gap between such a lofty idea and reality?

First, officials from the four countries mapped out what the Latin American Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocities (the Network) would look like. They took the idea of our weeklong training seminar and figured out how to amplify its reach by developing a Latin American version of our training curriculum that would not just be offered to a handful of government officials a year, but would be implemented as mandatory training in each participating Ministry. The Network would utilize our training seminars bi-annually to develop a Latin American version of this curriculum. At the same time, the people who would attend these training seminars over the next three years (set to finish at the end of 2015) will then, in turn, pave the way for instructors who administer the curriculum in their home countries. This takes the old proverb of teaching a man to fish to the next level. Our global seminar reaches 20-25 people twice a year, but they found a way to spread this education to an entire region, making it self-sustaining at the same time. Kudos to you, Latin America.

But once again, this is only a great idea, now what? A Network like this would require a regional commitment the likes of which has never been seen, ever. But how does such a commitment take shape? Surely all 18 of the Latin American member states wouldn’t wake up one morning and decide to dedicate funding and personnel to prioritize genocide prevention in their national and regional agendas. No, surely not.

To gather the proper momentum and support, we needed the right time, place, partners, and audience for the announcement of the Network. Here’s how it went down:

Time: late March 2012. In the political context of the Arab Spring, most notably the ongoing debate on the implications for R2P (a major tool of prevention) after the Libya intervention, and only weeks after the formal indictment of Efraín Ríos Montt for genocide and crimes against humanity, signaling what could be a major step in norms of transitional justice (also a major tool of prevention).

Place: Buenos Aires, Argentina. Argentina, a founding member and a driving force in the creation of the Network, is also a global and regional leader in the implementation of processes of transitional justice following the Dirty War, not to mention one of the more influential countries in Latin America both economically and politically.

Announcers: The launching of the Network was announced by representatives of the Argentinean Foreign Ministry, as well as the Secretariats of Human Rights in Brazil, with the Auschwitz Institute and the Office of the Special Advisor to the Secretary General for the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect serving as advisors and acting supporters. The idea was that if representatives from two of Latin America’s most politically influential powerhouses, backed by a reputable international NGO and the United Nations say that the Network is being created, representatives from the other countries would, at the very least, listen.

Audience: Latin Americans. More specifically, representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Justice, and Offices of the Ombudsmen from 18 Latin American countries. Why? Latin America is seen internationally as a leader in post conflict reconstruction and transitional justice, and is comprised of democratic states bearing the scars of past atrocities, in many cases assisted by the US during the Cold War. The founding members of the Network believed that the political will exists in this region to take the lead on genocide and mass atrocity prevention, and the initiative would be seen as internationally legitimate (not driven and/or controlled by the North), because some of the most ardent opponents of neo-colonialism are active members of the Network.

And they were right.

Today, after only 17 months since its inception, the Network has seen the successful completion of its first training seminar in Auschwitz, which was kicked off by words of wisdom from Mr. Adama Dieng, Special Advisor to the Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide. “The achievements of the Latin American Network, after barely 15 months of existence, are already resonating worldwide,” said Dieng.

The Network currently has 11 national initiatives fully functioning, ranging from regional high-level briefings on the Network and genocide prevention, to mini-training seminars for entire governments, peace-keeping troops, national police, and diplomatic academies on genocide and mass atrocity prevention, as well as managing relations between governments and their indigenous populations. Two national mechanisms for genocide prevention have been created within the governments of Argentina and Paraguay, which act as a structural base upon which the goals of the Network are managed by the entire government and civil society, and not just an individual focal point.

What’s more, the Network has since become an example to follow throughout the world, as shown by the recently created African Network for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention, modeled after its Latin American counterpart. The Latin American Network is referenced constantly by high level UN and government officials as an example of regional cooperation in mass atrocity prevention, and was recently included in the UN Secretary General Report, The Responsibility to Protect: State Responsibility and Prevention.

And this just the beginning—there is much work to be done. But through the Network, Latin America has provided a clear example of how, with the right amount of political will and determination, one can indeed bridge that seemingly insurmountable distance that exists in international politics between lofty words and effective action.


Attention, GenPrev fans! Next week is your lucky week if you live in New York, as there are five events related to GenPrev happening over three consecutive days.

First and foremost (from our point of view) is a talk titled “What Does It Mean to Prevent Genocide?” by Auschwitz Institute executive director Tibi Galis (pictured here), at 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, June 12, at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Tibi’s talk will emphasize that, although increasingly conflated and confused, genocide prevention and humanitarian intervention are two different things. He will then enter into conversation with Kyle Matthews of the Will to Intervene project. To attend the event in person, register by sending an e-mail to Admission is $25. Otherwise you can watch the live webcast here.

Also on Tuesday, June 12, at 4:30 p.m, is a reception for civil society organizations engaged in the Responsibility to Protect, at the office of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (708 Third Avenue, 24th floor):

In preparation for the informal dialogue in the General Assembly on response measures available under the Third Pillar of the Responsibility to Protect, the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) invites you to attend an informal reception with civil society colleagues on the Responsibility to Protect. This reception is being held in cooperation with New York–based ICRtoP member, Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW).

The reception will feature a short talk by Mr. Hermann Hokou, legal scholar and activist from Côte d’Ivoire, who will discuss the election violence of 2010–11, how the conflict was handled by the international community and what we can learn in addressing other crises. Also in attendance will be NGO colleagues from Brazil, Belgium, Armenia, Nigeria, Venezuela, Romania and Canada, in town next week to share the experiences of their organizations, working to prevent genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing, as well as reflect on their efforts to entrench RtoP at the national and regional levels.

The third event on Tuesday, June 12, is a discussion on “Preventing War, Violence and Genocide: Critical New Approaches to Making Prevention Work,” at 1 p.m. at the Church Center for the United Nations (777 UN Plaza at 44th Street, 2nd floor). Guest speaker Kai Brand-Jacobsen, director of the Department of Peace Operations at the Peace Action Training and Research Institute of Romania, will address the following:

War, armed violence, genocide and mass atrocity have devastating impacts – costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians every year, destroying economic and human development and security, and devastating lives and societies. Yet major steps have been taken to advance the prevention of violence and armed conflict. This talk will review critical breakthroughs and practical experiences in the prevention of war, violence and genocide. Combining on the ground experience and practical evidence with critical breakthroughs in peacebuilding and prevention, this event will challenge and inspire policy makers, practitioners, diplomats, politicians, analysts, experts and all participants, and look practically at how to make prevention work.

Finally, on Monday, June 11, and Wednesday, June 13, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung will be presenting Global Civil Society Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect:

FES New York supports a series of meetings organized by Global Action to Prevent War (GAPW) and its partners from civil society organizations from various continents on the emerging norm of the “Responsibility to Protect.” The discussions on June 11 will address how various UN Mandates can contribute to prevention, and reflect on balanced and robust responses to the threat of mass atrocities. On June 13, special attention will be given to the proposal for a United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS).

We hope you can make some or all of these events. If not, be sure to stay tuned for recaps.

Furthering AIPR’s long-term goal of having genocide prevention taught as part of the required curriculum at every college and university in the United States, AIPR and Professor Alex Hinton created a class on genocide prevention taught this spring at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. Taught by Prof. Hinton in the anthropology department, the course examined genocide prevention in the realms of public policy and academia.

The following websites were created by students of the class in May; as such, they do not reflect more recent events.

1) Cambodia: Anatomy of a Genocide
Divided into five sections (Origins, Processes, International Response, Justice, and Memory and Education), this site critically approaches the Cambodian genocide, examining whether it could have been prevented, and if so, why not?

2) Côte d’Ivoire: Genocide Watch
This site explains the origins of the conflict in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), in addition to discussing current diplomatic efforts there. The site’s creators seek to provide varied perspectives on, and solutions to, the situation in the country.

With a timeline that ends as NATO took control of the UN-backed no-fly zone over Libya earlier this year, these students discuss the international community’s inefficient and delayed response to the Libyan state’s atrocities against its own citizenry. They then go on to analyze whether or not Qaddafi’s actions are in fact genocide, using R2P as part of their framework.

4) Nuba Mountains, Sudan
With the recent genocide in Darfur and successful secession of South Sudan dominating news from that region, this site seeks to ensure that the genocide of the indigenous peoples of the Nuba is not forgotten or overshadowed. This website also goes beyond the scope of the genocide to help explain and preserve the culture and identity of the Nuba.

Today’s post “From the AIPR Team” comes from Operations Intern Jessica Lemire:

The last time I wrote for the AIPR blog, I was preparing to go to Poland to attend the Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention with students from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. Now that the seminar has ended and we have returned from Auschwitz, I can firmly say that these seminars are an invaluable resource and an extremely important contribution to the work of preventing genocide and other mass atrocities.

In terms of the educational modules, all of the information and tools given to participants are excellent sources of reference to use if they should find themselves in a position to apply it in their future employment. Additionally, the classroom environment of the seminar provided for a lot of stimulating debate and conversation that spilled over into free time outside the classes. However, the one experience that seemed to have the deepest impact on participants and instructors alike was their tours of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Having the tours of the camps combined with the educational courses on genocide studies and prevention gave the participants a unique historical vantage point to refer to and feel connected to, especially since several of the modules took place on the camp grounds. I believe that being in Auschwitz helped to encourage a more open discussion on the issue of preventing future genocides.

Through this seminar I was able to see just how important the work of AIPR is and it made me proud to have even a minuscule role in this organization. In some small way we are making a difference. Even if only one participant from this seminar takes away the messages of the lessons and uses them to change the opinions or actions of others so as to promote more peace rather than conflict, then we have succeeded.

Jessica Lemire is graduating in May from Fordham University with a B.A. in International Political Economy and a Certificate in Peace and Justice Studies.

The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation is proud to announce that on April 29, 2011, AIPR Executive Director Tibi Galis and Deputy Consul General of the German Permanent Mission to the United Nations Oliver Schnakenberg signed an agreement in which the German Federal Government pledged to provide funding for AIPR’s 2011 Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention. Germany’s support for genocide prevention will provide four government officials the opportunity to participate in the upcoming seminar. AIPR would like to express its thanks to the German Mission and Federal Government for helping to spread the mission of genocide prevention and aiding to make the goal of “Never Again” a reality.

In other genocide prevention news, the Madariaga College of Europe Foundation (MCF) and the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), with the support of the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union and the cooperation of the European External Action Service and the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office, are organizing a workshop called Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities, May 12 and 13 in Brussels. Representatives from many international organizations, the European institutions, NGOs and experts in the field will gather next week to discuss the topic of genocide prevention. This event, part of a larger MCF-FBA program called “Building coherence, skills and synergies in conflict prevention,” is aimed at promoting deeper interaction among “international representatives” in order to create a stronger forum for dialogue on conflict prevention, as well as a space for reflection on the challenges facing policymakers in the realm of preventing genocide and mass atrocities.

Today’s post “From the AIPR Team” comes from Operations Intern Jessica Lemire:

As part of our mission to spread genocide prevention around the world, AIPR president and founder Fred Schwartz is currently on a trip to South America to build new relationships (and maintain existing ones) with the governments of Brazil, Chile, Peru, Argentina and Ecuador. I recently aided in communication with foreign ministries so that Legal and Operations Associate Samantha Horn could coordinate these meetings. We hope that new international bonds will help us to continue expanding our programs globally and bring to the forefront the importance of the mission and work of AIPR.

I am particularly excited to see one of these programs, the Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention, in person in the upcoming weeks. In April I will be traveling with the rest of the AIPR team to Poland to participate in and help with the organization of this seminar for students from the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. I know that this will be an extremely rewarding experience, not only for the participants, but for me as well. Learning through reading and research is completely different from a firsthand encounter, and I am extremely lucky to be able to have this opportunity to witness the mission of the Auschwitz Institute as it continues to grow and engage the international community on this issue.

Today’s post “From the AIPR Team” comes from Operations Intern Daniel Mitzner:

As AIPR focuses on expanding its outreach by developing new editions of its standard Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention, I have been involved in a few different projects.

One is the development of a Lemkin Seminar focusing on women in genocide. To this end, we have been seeking advice on curricular development strategy from academics and organizations around the world. Recently I contacted women’s human rights organizations in South America prior to a trip there by our president, Mr. Fred Schwartz, so we could arrange meetings for him with the aim of working together with these groups to develop the seminar. I have also drafted various legal documents, including a proposal for a donation of real estate to AIPR from the Polish government.

However, my main focus at AIPR has been drafting an academic article with Tibi Galis, our executive director, on judiciary reforms in regimes in transition and how these reforms affect the administration of transitional justice. Specifically, I have researched several regimes that have undergone a transition and compiled data on the effectiveness of the various approaches these governments have taken when vetting their public officials and judicial officers. I began the writing process last week, and Tibi and I hope to have the article published this spring.

Today’s post “From the AIPR Team” comes from Operations Intern Mark Edwards:

One of the projects AIPR is developing right now is the Global Intern Project, and that has been the focus of my efforts in the past few months.

The purpose of the project is to create awareness of genocide prevention and education in the United States and abroad. The internship will be open to students and professionals alike, and AIPR will work with universities so that students will be able to get academic credit.

Interns will research individual countries, focusing on how the government educates people about genocide prevention. They will also monitor current events for possible signs of genocide, and interview state and local officials about their positions. Each intern will receive training from AIPR in using the Analysis Framework developed by the UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide (OSAPG) and will submit monthly reports to AIPR on the progress of their work.

Intern reports will be validated by country experts and submitted to the OSAPG, which will use them to raise awareness about genocide prevention both within the UN system and in individual countries.

We will begin selection of interns as soon as the application form is approved by the OSAPG. If you are interested in applying, write to

Today, we have our first report “From the AIPR Team,” featuring Samantha Horn, AIPR’s legal and operations associate:

Things are extremely busy right now at AIPR. Our next Raphael Lemkin Genocide Prevention Seminar for CGSC students from Fort Leavenworth is coming up in April, and so we are in the midst of logistical details and last-minute curriculum changes for the program. All is going very well, though, and we are excited to be back in Poland soon.

Our founder and president, Fred Schwartz, will be traveling to South America this month, so I have been scheduling meetings for him with ministries of foreign affairs and justice, as well as with U.S. embassies. Mr. Schwartz will be traveling to Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, so it will be quite a trip. AIPR works very closely with the governments of Argentina and Brazil and has had participants in our seminars from these countries, as well as from Chile, but we are looking to expand our reach in the region, as in 2012 we are planning to launch a Raphael Lemkin Genocide Prevention Seminar for Latin America, which will be dedicated solely to the Latin American region with the program tailored to meet the needs of these countries, touching upon issues such as politicide and transitional justice. We are very excited about this initiative, and have the great help of the governments of Argentina and Brazil for this endeavor. Hopefully, this upcoming trip will expand our base.

I am also working on recruitment for our standard Lemkin Seminar, for government officials from around the world. The application deadline is March 1, and so I am in the midst of reviewing applications and calling those countries that have confirmed their intent to participate but have not sent in their applications.  A great variety of countries will be attending, including Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Nigeria, Niger, Brazil, Argentina, the United States, Germany, and Sweden. I believe this will prove to be an incredible seminar, and the beginning for many of them of their work in genocide prevention. All in all, we are busy at work here at AIPR!

Twitter Updates