New project considers the prevention of mass atrocities

02 October 2009

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We are delighted to announce that the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) has been awarded a grant of almost £100,000 by the Australian Responsibility to Protect Fund. The grant will enable ELAC to undertake a new research project entitled: "Responsibility to Prevent".

The responsibility to prevent refers to the duty of all states to intervene in order to prevent serious human rights violations, such as genocide, before they occur. It is part of a developing concept in international relations, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), which gives any state the right to intervene in the affairs of another in order to prevent certain massive human rights abuses. This is a key opportunity for ELAC to contribute to building a robust set of principles, which will have far-reaching implications for the way in which mass atrocities are dealt with in the future.

The "Responsibility to Prevent" project, which will run from January 2010, until December 2011, will be led by Professor Jennifer Welsh, co-Director of the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict. Research will focus on two general questions:

  • What are the most effective strategies and tools for the prevention of mass atrocities?
  • Which actors and organizations should engage in prevention, and how can they cooperate most effectively?

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