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25 March 2009
Responsibility to Protect-Engaging Civil Society
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In this Issue:

I. Humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka

1. Sri Lanka: NAVI PILLAY DENOUNCES actions by Government forces and rebels AS possible war crimes



II. ICC arrest warrant for al-Bashir for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Darfur



III. Op-ed on R2P





IV. Interviews with advocates and architects of the R2P



V. American Symposiums on the Responsibility to Protect




VI. Featured Reports on R2P




I. Humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka

1. Sri Lanka: actions by Government forces, rebels possible war crimes UN rights chief
UN News
13 March 2009

High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said that certain actions undertaken by the Sri Lankan military and by the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) could constitute violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.

e need to know more about what is going on, but we know enough to be sure that the situation is absolutely desperate, she said. he world today is ever-sensitive about such acts that could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. ()

The LTTE is believed to be continuing to hold civilians as human shields and shooting those trying to leave their control. Further, they are reportedly forcibly recruiting civilians, including children, as soldiers.

he brutal and inhuman treatment of civilians by the LTTE is utterly reprehensible, and should be examined to see if it constitutes war crimes, the High Commissioner said. ()

Ms. Pillay called on both the Government and the LTTE to immediately halt the fighting to allow all civilians to evacuate the conflict zone, urging Sri Lankan authorities to give UN and other independent agencies full access to accurately assess conditions.

Last week, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly deplored the mounting civilian death and stressed the urgent need for the end of clashes. In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban repeated his call to the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE to uspend hostilities for the purposes of allowing civilians to leave the conflict zone, and allowing immediate humanitarian access to them.

He appealed to the LTTE to take its weapons and fighters out of areas where there are many civilians, cooperate in humanitarian efforts and instantly end recruiting children, some as young as 13 years of age, as soldiers. In addition, he urged the Government to begin erious efforts to resolve the underlying causes of the conflict.


2. US Senators call for immediate ceasefire, international oversight of detention camps
13 March 2009

A bipartisan group of seven senior U.S. Senators in a letter to Foreign Secretary Hilary Clinton blamed the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers for the "impending catastrophe," and said: "The situation in Sri Lanka is unacceptable and must be remedied as quickly as possible. We commend your recent statement with UK Foreign Minister David Milliband that called on the government and the LTTE to adhere to a ceasefire, allow access to humanitarian agencies, and resume political discussions to bring the long-standing ethnic conflict to an end. An enduring peace can be achieved only through a political solution that treats the Tamil minority as equal citizens under the law. Without such an agreement, the violence will only continue."

Full text of the letter:

3. Send Special UN envoy to Sri Lanka, urges Canadian opposition leader Michael Ignatieff
Michael Ignatieff
27 February 2009

Michael Ignatieff is the leader of the Canadian Liberal Party, and was a commissioner in the 2001 ICISS report on The Responsibility to Protect. The following press release urges UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon to send a special envoy to Sri Lanka to investigate the large scale loss of life and encourage inclusive political discussions.


II. Indictment of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Darfur

1. Arrest warrant for Sudan leader a 'milestone': Ex-UN official
Mike Blanchfield
Canwest News Service
4 March 2009

Canada's former United Nations ambassador Allan Rock called the arrest warrant issued Wednesday by the International Criminal Court against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for war crimes in Darfur "a significant milestone" in ending the impunity of abusive dictators.<

Rock offered that assessment in an interview with the Canwest News Service, saying the indictment puts teeth on the United Nations doctrine of Responsibility to Protect, which Canada spearheaded as a major tool to prevent genocide and war crimes.

"We're seeing a new level of accountability in international criminal law," said Rock, who was to give a major speech Wednesday night on Canada's role in fostering the creation of the R2P doctrine. "Canada should be doing a lot more to keep it on the front burner. This is a major Canadian achievement as well as an important advance for the United Nations."

Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon urged Sudan to respect the arrest warrant, echoing the same stern message delivered by the Obama White House in Washington. ()

In a statement, Cannon called on Sudan to abide by "its international obligations, as defined by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1593, to co-operate fully with the Court." But Rock said the charges underscored the need for Canada to do more promote the R2P doctrine, which has been adopted by the UN Security Council and is to be debated by the General Assembly in the coming months.

Some critics have accused the Harper Conservatives of ignoring R2P because it was largely a creation of the previous Liberal governments, including the human security agenda put forward by former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy. ()

Rock said the R2P doctrine is not a licence to invade a country militarily, and in the case of Darfur, that would "cause more harm than good." But as shown by Wednesday's indictment, Rock said the doctrine can be part of an "international full court press" that can include diplomatic censure and economic sanctions.


2. Issuing an arrest warrant is one thing, enforcing it is another
The National Post
Irwin Cotler
10 March 2009

Irwin Cotler is the counsel on human rights and transitional justice for the Liberal Party, as well as the founder of the Save Darfur Parliamentary Coalition.

The International Criminal Courts order last week for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity was nothing less than historic. Never before has the international community so clearly expressed the principle that obody stands above the law. Never before has the court intervened to bring to account the acting leader of a country besieged by destruction and impunity, with the aim not only of ending the injustice, but also human suffering.

And yet, while last weeks events are historic, it is not yet clear what judgment history will pass on them. International human rights jurists hope that al-Bashirs arrest warrant will serve as the harbinger of a new era of accountability, and perhaps even deterrence. However, this laudable outcome is far from guaranteed.Indeed, the International Criminal Courts recent history suggests otherwise.

In May, 2007, the court ordered the arrest of Ahmad Harun, Sudans former minister of state for the interior, based on clear evidence that he was responsible for horrific war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur.

Then as now the court appeared to have the support of the international community while the Sudanese government stood adamantly opposed to the international justice process. In the end, not only was Harun not taken to the dock of the accused in the Hague, he was appointed Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs. Harun became responsible for hearing the complaints of the victims of the very atrocities he was accused of planning and perpetrating. ()

Relief organizations, which are working tirelessly in Darfur to help alleviate the humanitarian crisis, were expelled with ruthless vindictiveness. An estimated 4.7 million people receive aid in Darfur, but with some 6,500 staff affected by the governments expulsion, humanitarian capabilities are expected to be cut in half, if not worse. At least 13 groups in total were ordered to leave or curb their work, including Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders and Save the Children. ()

We cannot let this happen. The international community must ensure that the courts arrest warrant is enforced through joint support and action by the United Nations Security Council and the co-operation of the African Union and member states of the international community. Moreover, members within Sudans ruling National Congress Party must finally distance themselves from President al-Bashir, surrender him to the court and pursue a peace process both with respect to Darfur and the North-South comprehensive peace agreement.

Canada, one of the founders of the International Criminal Court treaty and the architect of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine which includes the responsibility to prosecute has an important role to play in promoting respect for the courts decision and ensuring that President al-Bashir is brought to justice. The International Criminal Court took a courageous step in calling for President al-Bashirs arrest. The responsibility now falls on the international community to ensure justice is served.


More information on the ICC warrant and Darfur:
- Official ICC Indictment:

- HRW: Bashir Warrant a Major Step Toward Justice for Victims in Darfur :

- ENOUGH Project statement on the expulsion of NGOs from Darfur, see:

III. Op-eds on R2P

1. The Perversion of Sovereignty
World Affairs Journal
James Traub
4 March 2009

James Traub is a contributing writer at The New York Times and director of policy at the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. His article explores different conceptions of sovereignty within United Nation member states, and the evolution of sovereignty in debates over the Responsibility to Protect.

When UN Secretary General Kofi Annan delivered his annual address to the General Assembly in 1999, he bluntly reminded the gathered heads of state of the UN's failure to act to stop ethnic cleansing earlier that year in Kosovo - a failure that had in turn provoked NATO to initiate an air war over Serbia without Security Council approval. That episode, Annan asserted, "has revealed the core challenge to the Security Council and the United Nations as a whole in the next century: to forge unity behind the principle that massive and systematic violations of human rights - wherever they may take place - should not be allowed to stand." Annan declared that the UN must embrace the "developing international norm in favor of intervention to protect civilians from wholesale slaughter."

The norm Annan cited had, of course, begun to take root in the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda, which the world had witnessed with little more than a cry of anguished guilt, and the ethnic cleansing and mass death in Bosnia, to which the UN Security Council had replied with a humanitarian mission protected by ill-equipped and outnumbered peacekeepers. Annan had been sounding this theme for the previous eighteen months, prompting hope across the West that the UN, and the Security Council, might eventually discover its moral purpose. ()

With his speech, Annan did not so much open as reveal a fault line of global politics. In trying to convert an incipient practice into a worldwide norm, Annan had forced into the open a rancorous argument over the significance, and the salience, of sovereignty. Annan felt that he had to instigate the debate in order to gain consensus on the question. And one could argue that he succeeded handsomely, since heads of state gathered for another such meeting six years later unanimously approved the doctrine of "the responsibility to protect," a re-formulated descendant of humanitarian intervention. (...)

Full Paper:

2. Ban a champion of U.N.s role to protect
The Daily Yuimiori
Ramesh Thakur
10 March 2009

Ramesh Thakur is a key architect of the Responsibility to Protect and served as a commissioner in the 2001 ICISS Report.

One of former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Boltons parting gifts to the international community was the selection of Ban Ki Moon as U.N. secretary general. Among the chief qualities that Bolton was interested in in a candidate was a man of modest ambitions and talent to match in order to bury the conceit of liberal internationalism. Ban may yet surprise us all.

A bit more than a year before Ban took office, a summit of world leaders, meeting at the United Nations in autumn 2005, unanimously adopted he responsibility to protectow commonly referred to as R2Ps a powerful new global norm.

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan described R2P as one of his most precious achievements. Ban has not been shy of adopting R2P as his own cause, confident enough of his own worth not to worry that he will merely be advancing his predecessors legacy. ()

Interestingly, Ban was the only candidate to refer to R2P during the yearlong campaign to seek Annans office. After Ban took office, his task was complicated as many countries saw him as Washingtons choice. The problem was compounded by choosing American Ed Luck as his special adviser, one with little professional background on the subject. ()

Drawing on Lucks wide-ranging consultations and reflections, on Jan. 12 Ban published his report on mplementing the responsibility to protect. It rightly takes as a key point of departure not our original 2001 report, but the relevant clauses from the 2005 outcome document. It clarifies and elaborates that orce as the last resort does not mean we have to go through a sequential or graduated set of responses before responding robustly to an urgent crisis. ()

The new report is effective and clever in repackaging R2P in the language of three pillars: The states own responsibility to protect all peoples on its territory; international assistance to help build a states capacity to deliver on its responsibility; and the international responsibility to protect. If the metaphor helps to garner more widespread support, all praise to Ban and his team. ()

More seriously, the report goes over the top in elaborating on the metaphor by insisting that the difice of R2P will tilt, totter and collapse unless all three pillars are of equal height and strength. This is simply not true. The most important elementhe weightiest pillaras to be the states own responsibility. And the most critical is the international communitys response to fresh outbreaks of mass atrocity crimes.

Mercifully, and contrary to what many of us feared, the report does not retreat from the necessity for outside military action in some circumstances. But it does dilute what was the central defining feature of R2P. The commission was called into existence to deal with the problem of brutal leaders killing large numbers of their own people. In this it built on the landmark Lakhdar Brahimi report of 2000 that noted the United Nations cant be neutral between perpetrators and victims of large-scale violence. Were all happy to assist the good guys build state capacity; the challenge is what to do with the bad guys, those intent on grave harm who use sovereignty as a license to kill with impunity. ()

On these key issues, we are no further ahead today: We seem to be recreating the 2005 consensus instead of operationalizing and implementing the agreed collective responsibility. The use of force by the United Nations against a states consent will always be controversial and contested. That is no reason to hand over control of the pace, direction and substance of the agenda of our shared, solemn responsibility to the R2P skeptics.


3. The UNs R2P Report is Missing Out by Half
The Huffington Post
Ambassador Swanee Hunt and Sheila Lalwani
2 March 2009

Ambassador Swanee Hunt is a former ambassador to Austria and a lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University. Sheila Lalwani is a graduate student at Harvard whose studies focus upon conflict and gender.

A few days ago, the United Nations released its latest report on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the international commitment to prevent genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. The report comes at a good time: President Obama is taking a strong stance against the violence in Darfur, and he's chosen as his ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, a sharp critic of the Bush administration's handling of those killings. He's wise to have a woman at the helm. Why?

R2P is a mandate for global intervention when governments or state actors are either incapable or unwilling to protect their citizens. This is not interventionism by imperialists or greedy neighbors, but rather a key tool the international community can rely upon to prevent yet another bloody and violent century. To be expected, debates inside the UN are vociferous. And likewise true to form, absent from these wide-ranging discussions is a core constituency: women. ()

Women are in touch with what's really happening on the ground. They're often the eyes and ears of their communities, best suited to observing changes at the grassroots. For decades, they've led organizations addressing fundamental causes of violence: ethnic conflict, economic disparity, lack of education, and human suffering. Consider Liberia, where women organized across religious lines to stop a fourteen-year war (see "Pray the Devil Back to Hell") -- and where this weekend in Monrovia they're hosting 400 world leaders to celebrate their progress. ()

In addition to women's potential effectiveness in preventing or stopping war, it's important to have them in security design because conflict affects girls and women differently than males. Even where a culture of violence against women exists before conflict, it's aggravated by war. And seasoned observers know that the use of rape as a weapon is an early warning sign that a social order is completely breaking down. By including them in decision-making, their experiences of atrocities -- often sexual violence -- are put on the table; if women are shut out of the meetings and the mindset, attacks against them are likely to be overlooked. ()

Granted, the UN has been increasingly responsive to the impact of armed conflict on women and girls -- most recently through UN Security Council Resolution 1820. But the implementation of UNSCR 1325 -- declaring the importance of bringing gender to the center of all UN efforts pertaining to conflict prevention and resolution -- has been abysmal. ()

Yes, women and girls are vulnerable in times of conflict and are used as vehicles for widespread oppression. But they're strong in the wisdom of their culture, and without their voices at the table, R2P will not succeed. So it's tragic that R2P is not rising to the standard of inclusion mandated by the UN itself. Tragic, but understandable, since the traditional security paradigm was created by men for men. Women making it to the top of the male pyramid must always prove they're tough enough for the male war culture, although with Ambassador Rice and Secretary Clinton leading US foreign policy, we're seeing an increasingly inclusive diplomatic style. But in terms of the UN, the bad news is that most of those designing security policies don't grasp the necessity of bringing women's voices into the R2P debate. Still, the good news is that the responsibility to protect has huge hidden resources (i.e. half the population), through whom we can secure our world once and -- it must be -- for all.


4. Strategic dialogues: the Responsibility to Protect
Foreign Policy in Focus
23 March 2009

As part of the Empire Strategic Focus, Foreign Policy In Focus asked several experts to weigh in on whether Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is an important step forward for the international system or a step backward to great power intervention, and how should the Obama administration approach this doctrine.

Shaun Randol, an independent research consultant and an associate fellow at the World Policy Institute, contributed an article entitled R2P: No Love in a Time of Cholera strongly embraced the new principle, while recognizing that it has yet to be invoked and operationalized:

Trevor Keck and Bridget Moix lead the peaceful prevention of deadly conflict program of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. They emphasized here that R2P is about prevention and explores the challenges for the US administration to move R2P from a concept to reality: see R2P: Focus on Prevention at

Kevin Fake and Steven Funk, co-authors of the book, "The Scramble for Africa: Darfur-Intervention and the USA offered a skeptical appraisal of R2P with their piece R2P : Disciplining the Mice, Freeing the Lions:

See a following dialogue between these authors on R2P at:

IV. Interviews with advocates and architects of the R2P

1. The Responsibility to Protect
Public Radio Internationals America Abroad
7 March 2009

Public Radio Internationals America Abroad program hosted a four part show on the Responsibility to Protect, with different panels and speakers on the topic. Topics included the Responsibility to Protect in Kenya, evolution of the norm, and a discussion of the efficacy of R2P.

Segment 1: Deborah Amos investigates the application of R2P in Kenya following the 2008 post-election violence.

Guests include: Maina Kiai, the former head of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights; Eston Mokono, a Party of National Unity (PNU) supporter; Meredith Preston-McGhie, Acting Director Africa, HD Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue; George Wachira, Director of the Nairobi Peace Initiative.

Segment 2: Sean Carberry explores the UN's peacekeeping efforts in the Democratic Republic of Congo and investigates what effect an application of R2P would have on the ongoing crisis there.

Guests include: Charles Gurney, the US State Departments political officer in Eastern Congo; Kevin Kennedy, the director of the pubic information division of the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC); Ed Luck, the Special Representative to the UN Secretary General for Responsibility to Protect; David Ntengwe, an external relations officer for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in the DRC; Captain Tarun, an officer in India's 211 Battalion serving in the DRC.

Segment 3: Ray Suarez traces the evolution of R2P from the humanitarian failures of the 1990s to a consensus at the UN.

Guest: Don Hubert, Professor of International Affairs at the University of Ottawa.

Segment 4: Deborah Amos hosts a discussion on the effectiveness of R2P and its prospects for the future.

Guests include: Gareth Evans, President of the International Crisis Group and Alan Kuperman, Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.


Transcript of the Interview with Don Hubert:

Transcript of the Debate between Gareth Evans and Alan Kuperman:

2. EIA Interview: Alex J. Bellamy on the Responsibility to Protect
Carnegie Council
Alex J. Bellamy, John Tessitore
16 February 2009

The following interview of Alex Bellamy of the Asia-Pacific Center for the Responsibility to Protect took place at the Carnegie Council, a New York based think tank devoted to ethical leadership in matters of peace, conflict, and social justice. The interview was conducted for the Carnegie Councils Quarterly Journal, Ethics and International Affairs. In the interview, Alex Bellamy discusses the challenges in operating in the Asia-Pacific region, the need to have UN and regional consensus on R2P, and the work of Special Advisor to the Secretary General Edward Luck. Alex Bellamy is the recent author of he Responsibility to Protect, which shows the evolution of the norm and the challenges remaining.


V. American Symposiums on the Responsibility to Protect

1. Human Rights Journal symposium examines responsibility to protect
Harvard Law Record
Taylor M. Landis
5 March 2009

The Harvard Human Rights Journal held its 2009 Symposium "Responsibility to Protect" on February 20th at the Sheraton Commander hotel in Cambridge. The event included a keynote address by Special Adviser to the Secretary-General, Dr. Edward Luck, on the January 2009 U.N. report "Implementing the Responsibility to Protect." () Dr. Luck drew particular attention to the successful implementation of R2P in Kenya last year and discussed how the U.N. might continue to utilize the doctrine in a manner respectful of both human rights and state sovereignty.

In a panel discussion following Dr. Luck's address, Professor W. Andy Knight of the University of Alberta began by providing a framework for thinking about the implications of R2P for the international order. Professor Mary Ellen O'Connell of Notre Dame Law School then offered a critique of the doctrine which sparked significant debate. Professor O'Connell expressed wariness over the possibility of R2P's use as a mechanism for ill-advised humanitarian intervention and suggested instead that states take up a "responsibility to peace."

Professors Balakrishnan Rajagopal of MIT and Professor Hurst Hannum of Tufts found himself in agreement with the majority of her concern also expressed skepticism about the establishment of R2P as a legal norm and questioned the added value of R2P in light of existing international norms and policies.

Ramesh Thakur of the University of Waterloo argued that the time for discussing R2P as humanitarian intervention has passed, and urged that the current debate expand to consider a broader range of possibilities for the doctrine. Professor Thakur and others, along with human rights specialist Roberta Cohen and Professor Sheri Rosenberg of the Cardozo School of Law, drew upon the January U.N. report to stress the potential role of R2P as a preventative strategy and post-conflict remedy, rather than as a mere tool for humanitarian intervention. ()


2. The responsibility to protect: The Human rights and humanitarian dimensions
Harvard Human Rights Journal Annual Symposium
Roberta Cohen
20 February 2009

Roberta Cohen is a fellow at the Brookings Institution in the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, as well as former advisor to Francis Deng. Her comments below are taken from the panel on the Responsibility to Protect and Human Rights at the Harvard Human Rights Journal Annual Symposium. Ms. Cohen explores how far the application of R2P extends, citing the Kenyan example, when does R2P apply to humanitarian emergencies with the case of Burma and whether R2P will further politicize humanitarian operations.

Read her speech at:

3. Evans symposium talk details 'Responsibility to Protect'
The DePauw
Andrew Maddocks
6 March 2009

Depauw Universitys Prindle Institute for Ethics hosted the conference on mperfect Duties? Humanitarian Intervention in Africa and the Responsibility to Protect in the Post-Iraq Era on 6-8 March 2009 gathering academics, civil society and UN officials.

A global cross section of academics, politicians, activists and aid workers congregated at the Prindle Institute for Ethics Thursday to hear Gareth Evans deliver the opening address of this weekend's Humanitarian Intervention Symposium. Evans, the former foreign minister of Australia, said he is fundamentally arguing that large-scale murders and human rights atrocities of the Holocaust, Rwanda, Darfur and others should never happen again.

Stopping what Evans called "mass atrocity crimes" will require a change in the international collective mindset, he said. "Let's try to create an environment where the reflex response is not to say, 'That's none of our business,'" Evans said. "Of course it's our business."

Evans was co-chair of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, a group commissioned by the Canadian government to investigate ways the international community could combat the most severe human rights violations. The group's efforts culminated in a doctrine titled "The Responsibility to Protect." Evans' speech outlined the major points of the Responsibility to Protect argument, filled in background of the international approach to past interventions and kicked off a dialogue that will continue during the next two days. ()

Evans then delved into the successes and failures of the doctrine so far in the international community. While ratified unanimously by the U.N. General Assembly, it left some governments and experts uncomfortable. After Evans finished his presentation, the floor opened for questions. David Chandler, a professor at the University of Westminster in London, immediately questioned the doctrine's motivation and feasibility.

"They weren't here to agree," said Executive Vice President Neal Abraham. "You heard a direct challenge, even in the first question." ()


VI. Featured Reports on Burma, Zimbabwe, and Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

1. Zimbabwehat Must be Done? Who Must Act? (Meeting Summary)
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
30 January 2009

Participants in the January 30 GCR2P panel discussion, imbabwe: What Must Be Done? Who Must Act? were unanimous in condemning the appalling abuses committed by the regime of President Robert Mugabe against civilians. Members of the opposition MDC party, their supporters, and human rights activists have been systematically arrested, beaten, tortured, and raped. In an attempt to crush the opposition, the regime has eliminated much of the state apparatus in opposition-controlled regions of the country, including the public health system and the schools. Zimbabwe is now enduring a cholera crisis with escalating mortality rates; tarvation is rampant; child and maternal mortality rates have soared as obstetric care has disappeared; agriculture and the economy have been decimated to the point where only 6 percent of the population has jobs; life expectancy has been cut almost in half as a result of HIV/AIDS, the total breakdown of the health care system and the collapse of the economy. And whatever role may have been played by such outside factors as climate or the demands of international economic institutions, there was broad agreement that Zimbabwes catastrophe was directly traceable to reckless state policies and corruption. imbabwe is not anarchy, said one participant. t is a highly organized, hierarchical country run by a dictator whose control penetrates throughout the society. ()

Full Summary:

2. Yes We Can? The Responsibility to Protect and Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights
One World Trust
March 2009

In a new report authors Elodie Aba and Michael Hammer explore opportunities and barriers that exist to broadening the scope of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine to include cases of widespread and systematic abuse of economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR). The report investigates the enabling role that standards of due diligence have played for the development of ESCR, both substantive and in terms of their justifiability, and examines the growing dissociation of Crimes against Humanity from the context of armed conflict. Building on an appreciation of the political and practical obstacles to an enlargement of the scope of the R2P doctrine the report nevertheless concludes that limiting a discussion of the R2P to situations of armed conflict is inconsistent with the wider trends in international law that form the basis of the doctrine. The report recognises however that any decisions especially concerning the use of force under the doctrine have to be made with high sensitivity to the context. ()

Full Report:

3. After the Storm: Voices from the Delta: A Report by EAT and JHU CPHHR on Human Rights Violations in the wake of Cyclone Nargis
Emergency Assistance Team (Burma) and the Johns Hopkins University Center for
Public Health and Human Rights
March 2009

The following report discusses the Responsibility to Protect and Crimes against Humanity occurring in the Irrawaddy Delta following Cyclone Nargis. Through interviews with survivors, the reports testimonies details crimes against humanity occurring in 1) intentional disregard of cyclone victims to lead to large scale loss of life 2) failure to address health needs 3) interference with aid and relief operations based upon ethnicity and religion 5) forced labor 6) forced relocation, and 7) the use of force child labor.

Full report:

Thanks to Emily Cody for compiling this listserv

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