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. Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. A resolution to designate April as 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. For details here.
2. Anti-Torture Bill. A bill to mandate that state-licensed health care providers who participate in torture will be charged with misdemeanors and lose their state licenses. See sample bills here. See an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune here. California passed a similar resolution in 2008. See California’s law here. For details here.
3. Indigenous People’s Day. A bill to mandate the second Monday of October in every state as ‘Indigenous People’s Day,’ in recognition of the contribution of American Indians to the building of our nation. Download the resolution text here. This designation has been passed a number of U.S. states and cities. For details here.
U.S. Support for UN Conventions
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 conventions. 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 in education, health, and employment. Countries that have ratified the Convention are legally bound to put its provisions into practice.
Only six nations have not ratified CEDAW yet, including the United States. Ratification requires 67 ‘yes’ votes in the U.S. Senate. For details here.
2. 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 nation that has not ratified CRC is the United States.
U.S. Support to Prevent Violence
1. International Criminal Court (ICC). We urge the U.S to ratify support for the International Criminal Court. The ICC is the first permanent international court established to end impunity for individual perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community; genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
To date, 123 nations have ratified participation in the ICC.
2. Conflict-Free Initiative. For more than two decades, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has suffered intense conflict 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.
We urge support for transparency in reporting and for purchase from manufacturers that comply with Dodd-Frank requirements. State bills have passed in Maryland and California; see legislation here.
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.