The Prevention Toolbox: ACMC supports Oxford project on how to prevent mass atrocities

The ACMC has supported the Oxford Centre for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict to undertake research into how to prevent mass atrocities. This project reflects the ACMC’s mission to support the development of national civil-military capabilities to prevent, prepare for and respond more effectively to conflict overseas.

560600Studies have found that atrocity crimes frequently occur in the context of violent conflict and that factors often identified as root causes of genocide are similar to those identified as root causes of conflict.

It is both politically and morally desirable to act to prevent mass atrocity crimes – rather than to react after such crimes are already underway. However, there is relatively little research on how mass atrocities should or can be prevented, or how atrocity prevention relates to the broader field of conflict prevention. This research is a valuable contribution to Australia’s humanitarian engagement with the international community.

This research identifies a focused set of potential policy tools for preventing mass atrocities. It highlights the most fruitful avenues for international or third party engagement to prevent atrocities and to identify the capacities that need to be built (nationally, regionally, and internationally) to use preventative tools more effectively.

Six policy papers outline the tools for prevention:

  • Mediation
  • Sanctions
  • Military strategies
  • Preventing ideology
  • International Criminal Court
  • Commissions of Inquiry

The Working Paper – A Strategic Framework for Mass Atrocity Prevention – draws together the policy briefs to demonstrate how the Australian Government and other governments can work to create a strong framework that supports atrocity prevention.