World Without Genocide advocates for state, national, and international efforts to protect innocent people, prevent genocide, and prosecute perpetrators. To advance these goals, we urge support for the following:
At the state level, we advocate for passage of the following:
1. A resolution to make April Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, in recognition of the anniversary of many terrible tragedies that began and are memorialized every April. Download the resolution text here.
2. A bill to mandate that any Minnesota-licensed providers of health care who participate in torture will be charged with misdemeanors and will lose their licenses. A similar bill, entitled the Gottfried-Duane Anti-Torture Bill, has been proposed in New York.
3. A bill to mandate the second Monday of October in Minnesota as ‘Indigenous People’s Day,’ in recognition of the annexation of Dakota land for the building of the state. Download the resolution text Indigenous Peoples Day Bill.
At a global level, we encourage the United States to join with nearly all other nations of the world in ratifying two very important United Nations resolutions. Ratification requires support from the U.S. Senate.
1. Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW is often described as an international bill of rights for women. The Convention defines what constitutes discrimination against women, and creates an agenda for action to end such discrimination. The Convention ensures women’s equal access to, and equal opportunities in, political and public life – including the right to vote and to stand for election – as well as education, health and employment. Countries that have ratified the Convention are legally bound to put its provisions into practice.
Only seven nations have not ratified CEDAW yet, including the United States.
2. Conflict-Free Initiative. For more than a decade, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered intense conflict, particularly in the eastern region which is rich in minerals like tin, coltan, tungsten, and gold. These high-demand minerals are used in nearly all consumer electronics: phones, computers, music players, and cameras. Armed groups compete for access to these resources, exploiting the land and devastating local populations. Over 5,000,000 civilians have died, making this the deadliest conflict since World War II. About 45,000 people die every month due to famine, disease, displacement, killings, and sexual violence.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010 mandates that if companies use minerals from Congo or an adjoining country, they must file a report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission describing what they have done to ensure the source of the minerals. Under this law, companies are responsible for identifying where their suppliers get the minerals. Companies must verify these steps through an audit of their reporting. Although this law is an important first step, it does not establish penalties for companies that continue to get minerals from conflict areas.
3. We also urge the United States to ratify support for the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC is the first permanent, treaty based, international criminal court established to help end impunity for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community, namely genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
To date, 122 nations have ratified participation in the ICC.
4. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). CRC defines the basic human rights that children everywhere have: the right to survival; to develop to the fullest; to protection from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life. The Convention protects children’s rights by setting standards in health care; education; and legal, civil and social services. By ratifying CRC, national governments have committed themselves to protecting and ensuring children’s rights and they have agreed to hold themselves accountable for this commitment before the international community.
The only two nations that have not ratified CRC are Somalia and the United States.
Apply for a World Award:
World Without Genocide offers annual essay, action project, and overall engagement awards. The awards celebrate individuals and classrooms who have taken significant steps to prevent and stop genocide. Please visit the Apply for a World Award page for more information.