This reference list is a selection of open-source materials, primarily from the United Nations, governments, international and regional organizations and civil society, related to the prevention of atrocities. We welcome your suggestions to improve this online reference library. For feedback and suggestions, please send an email to

For the effective prevention of atrocities, potential hotspots must be recognized early and the warning signs must be transmitted to the relevant governments and institutions. Several initiatives have attempted to improve early warning and analysis of atrocities.

Bringing perpetrators of atrocities to justice aids the healing process of victims and their community, and contributes to the establishment of sustainable peace. Accountability may also deter potential future or renewed atrocities. International and internationalized criminal tribunals have an important role to play in the process of finding accountability for atrocities.

International Criminal Tribunals

Internationalized Criminal Tribunals

International humantarian law (IHL) places limits on what parties can do during armed conflict and occupation. It protects persons who are not or no longer taking part in hostilities, and regulates the methods and means of warfare.

Peacekeeping refers to activities intended to create conditions that favour lasting peace. United Nations military and police peacekeeers are deployed with the consent of the main parties to the conflict. UN peacekeepers are impartial in their dealings with the conflict parties. UN peacekeepers use force with the authorization of the UN Security Council, to protect themselves and their mandate.

Peacebuilding refers to a range of measures targeted at reducing the risk of conflict or the reemergence of conflict by strengthening national capacities for conflict management.

The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is a global political commitment which was endorsed by all member states of the United Nations at the 2005 World Summit in order to prevent and respond to genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing.

Founding Documents

United Nations Secretary-General's reports

Civil society reports