Workshop digest: Promoting human rights as an atrocity prevention mechanism: engaging armed and security forces and non-state actors

24 November 2022
As part of its efforts to anchor atrocity prevention in International Geneva, GAAMAC co-organized a workshop at the Geneva Peace Week.

Three speakers and the moderator were from the GAAMAC community:

The fourth speaker, Christie Edwards, represented the NGO Geneva Call.

Recommendations and concrete next steps

The speakers engaged in a lively discussion with the 30 attendees, which led to the following recommendations:

  • Protection of human rights and respect of international humanitarian law within the armed and security forces, as well as within non-state actors involved in armed conflict, is needed to mitigate violence and build post-conflict resilience.
  • Ending impunity for hate crimes and gross violations of human rights is a prerequisite to building societal reconciliation and resilience.
  • Involving women as well as protecting and promoting their rights can lead to effective atrocity prevention strategies.
  • Civil society are frontline responders in the fight to prevent and respond to discrimination and human rights violations.

The organizers agreed on concrete next steps to remain seized on the issue:

  • GAAMAC will continue to provide a space for cross-fertilization and dialogue on these issues.
  • The GCR2P will:
    • continue conversations and exchange on best practices and lessons learned when engaging with non-state actors to build atrocity prevention and mitigation strategies;
    • out further exchange among organizations, including sharing databases on monitoring atrocities, participating on possible further cooperation and coordination.
  • CADHA will organize the following activities to equip and sensitize the following targets on human rights and international humanitarian law:
    • A campaign with female military personnel;
    • A campaign with parliamentarians;
    • A campaign with the Defense and Security Forces.
  • ODIHR will continue to strengthen training and capacity building programmes for civil society, law enforcement, prosecutors, judges and policy makers to raise awareness and knowledge on the impacts of bias, unconscious bias, prejudice, discrimination and hate crime to strengthen response structures and prevention efforts.

The Geneva Peace Week is a leading annual forum in the international peacebuilding calendar in which organizations in Geneva and their international partners come together to share knowledge and practice on a diverse range of topics relating to the promotion of peace across contexts and disciplines. GAAMAC is grateful for the opportunity to participate for the third consecutive year.

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