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Experts Call for Canada to Mobilize Allies to Prevent Mass Atrocity Crimes

April 24, 2023
By Kyle Matthews and Marie Lamensch

Atrocity prevention organizations are calling on the Government of Canada to continue showing leadership in the field of atrocity prevention and develop new strategies and alliances to make “Never Again” a reality. 

In 2023, mass atrocity crimes (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing) are occurring across the planet with the UN Security Council paralyzed by inaction and, even worse, two of its members are committing large scale human rights abuses with impunity.

In China, an estimated one million Uyghurs are detained in so-called “re-education” camps, and many others are being persecuted through intimidation campaigns and heavy surveillance and bans on cultural activities. Likewise, Russia has invaded Ukraine and is committing mass atrocity crimes again Ukrainian civilians, resulting in the International Criminal Court issuing an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Following the Rwandan genocide in 1994, Canada helped create the Responsibility to Protect doctrine that aimed to create an international norm to help states prevent and interdict mass atrocity crimes. In 2023, it is imperative that Canada and other states that stand for human rights work together in a strategic,action-oriented manner to uphold the Responsibility to Protect and ensure that the fight to end mass atrocity crimes are not diminished as China and Russia work to change the global order.

On 20 April 2023, Kyle Matthews (Executive Director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies), Savita Pawnday (Executive Director of the Global Center for the Responsibility to Protect), and Christopher Tuckwood (Executive Director of the Sentinel Project) gave a press conference in Ottawa calling on the government of Canada and its allies to do more to prevent mass atrocity crimes and proposed actions that Canada can take to strengthen its role in atrocity prevention.

A video of the press conference is available here.

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