Anna Duke, '19, on the History of Human Rights and Whether it Has Fulfilled its Promise to “Never Again” Permit Genocide

Never Again — Fulfilling a Promise

History holds many lessons for the living, and the history of international law is a lesson of struggle between human aspiration and political will. The establishment of the crime of genocide under international law following the atrocities of World War II provides a starting point for an examination of this historic and ongoing struggle. What the international community strove to achieve through the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Genocide Convention) was to “never again” allow the atrocities of the Holocaust to happen. Since the Holocaust, however, the world has broken that promise again and again, failing to prevent or respond to genocide in many countries, including in Guatemala, Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sudan. The lack of political will to intervene in situations moving towards genocide has resulted in the loss of millions of lives. To fulfill the promise of “never again” and summon the political will to intervene, it is important to address how public opinion can be galvanized to demand governments take action against genocide.

Read more at International Human Rights Clinic Blog

International human rights