Don’t Just Stop Genocide — Prevent It Before It Starts!

Regardless of whether we’re talking about Darfur, Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) there are a few reoccurring trends to the systemic violence and oppression found throughout the world.

First, we’ve seen numerous examples of how violence in one nation leads to violence in other weaker nations. In fact, repressed nations and populations are particularly vulnerable to abuse and hardships, and we know from past examples that displaced women and children are often recruited for or subjected to violence. Using the DRC as an example, the first war in 1996 began as a direct result of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Secondly, for nearly every humanitarian conflict, the more time that progresses, the larger the crisis. Regardless of whether our focus as activists are around issues pertaining to civil/human rights, peace, the environment or health awareness, time is of the essence for most campaigns and advocacy work.

But when it comes to genocide and the killings of hundreds, thousands or even millions of people, it is mission critical to end the violence as quickly as possible! The mass atrocities of rape, forced displacements and the systematic assault on homes, crops, water sources, schools, hospitals and other life-sustaining resources associated with various cases of genocide throughout the world surely spark and continue to prompt reoccurring feelings of sorrow and action, but can more be done? We as citizen activists are doing our part to try and end violence, but is it possible for us to work to better prevent it?

Despite various peace initiatives, violence still occurs around the world, which is why it’s imperative that regardless of how busy our schedules seem, we should continue to keep an active presence in humanitarian issues. As citizen activists, we have done a fantastic job when it comes to gaining momentum around catastrophes and not letting the brutal violence and mass killings fall on deaf ears. But what’s really needed in many cases are early, preventative steps to avert genocide!

Shifting our attention away from reconciliation and refocusing our energy around preventative measures would aid in protecting the lives of millions of people while simultaneously working to mitigate large-scale global violence. And according to the Genocide Prevention Task Force, for less than a dollar for every American each year, the U.S. could raise the funds for an active crisis prevention program. While effective prevention would undoubtedly require a great investment and initiative from our national leaders, in the meantime, as activists, we can continue to actively participate in humanitarian causes, stay abreast with world developments and do our part to try and prevent future genocides.


Linda M.
Linda M8 years ago

thanks so much for this article

Misae G.
Misae G8 years ago

Dear @Mrs Sharon.
I'm sorry for your family's temple under thrreaten.
If‚@an adopted daughter of a Vietnam veteran and Japanese wife.I've been felt very ashamed because our family is very hawkish.Aiso wonderd why these good civilian can turn into murderer and other people suppor it?One of japanese socialist wrote that while the Vietnam war error,people were brainwashed that if you don't kill Charlies now,they are comming to states and kill your mom and rape your girl friend.Just like the genocide among the Tuti and Futu,people can get scared and brainwashed very easily,espesially intercultual understanding can be very difficult.I've seen with my own eyes that misunderstanding caused by tiny thing.One thing I can clearly say is U.S.A. should stop intervates other country's issue with arms right now.Violence do good for nobody.I wish there will be no millitary on earth in near future.

Meryn B.
Meryn B.8 years ago

contd.......the capitalist system is the major factor in directly producing these situations. From the beginnings of western imperialism to modern day corporate power, the cause for the devastation of environments and communities, and the brutalisation of people can be traced to minority owning class making financial profits, and the competition between different capitalist groups for resources so that they can do this. The U.S. supports Israel and it gets coverage heavily biased in its favour in the western media because of the western business interests that want to keep Israel as a base in the Middle East. This enables the most violent and extreme to In Israel to gain power – because they can get away with it.

War and deprivation is not what the vast majority want, but up till now they have been roped into a system that produces it, by capitalists who also control education and the media and who want us to believe that there is no other workable system, so that they can keep their inordinate power.

BUT there is another system – that has not yet been tried – which is not only workable but sustainable BECAUSE it allows for quality of life and not financial profit to be the priority.

Meryn B.
Meryn B.8 years ago

The features of genocide that are noted above are all things that have been perpetrated by the U.S. in various wars and by the State of Israel against Palestinians with the notable exception of rape as a policy, but with notable addition of bombing including the use of missiles tipped with nuclear waste so they will burn more efficiently through walls and metal, other chemical weapons and cluster bombs that continue to kill children for months and years after they have fallen. Genocide largely achieved by advanced technological weaponry, pressing buttons – and the aftermath of destruction of infrastructure, agriculture, services and communities.

In the recent Israeli assault on Gaza, apart from civilian causalities from bombing, including hundreds of children, included air attacks followed up by ground assaults using tanks and bulldozers were to ensure that structures such as poultry sheds and greenhouses, and fruit blocks that have taken decades to mature, were completely destroyed. And the continuing Israeli blockade prevents the import of materials to rebuild.

How sad to have to chose between reconciliation of present troubles and the and prevention of more. WE clearly need to do both and they will help each other.
BUT Capitalism does not only NOT PROVIDE anywhere near adequately for reconciliation or prevention, it is actually the main case of the problems.

Study of the history of war torn areas of the world reveals that the workings of the capitalist syst

Heather A.
Heather A8 years ago

It's a program like this that might just bring about world peace. Of course, the effort it would require would be colossal. What I'd like to see in the near future is a change of attitude in developped nations. Rather than not caring, or caring very little as most people do, it's critical for everyone to become aware of what is going on in the world (and not just the highly publicized events in the middle-east), and to make even the tiniest effort to promote change. Most people I know aren't even aware that there are genocides going on right now.

Sharon Schindlbeck

I don't understand hate. Especially hate for any racial or ethnic reason. How do these kind of feelings exist? I have no feelings like this in my life and could not imagine them in my heart. My daughter and her family are Jews and have had their temple threatened. Why? I can't understand it at all!

Jacqueline Patino

These are the kind of measures that will about peace in the world. This is one real step towards the achievement of non violent behavior, which is outside of political views and is well into the land of responsible politics, which are good for all countries in the world.

Reading this article really gives me the hope that not all America is insensitive and spoiled, as many of the comments I have read in Care2 were showing me. I think this is the real America which we, people outside America, would like to be seen portraited more often.

Thanks for bringing this up.

Mary Ann Clark
Mary Ann Clark8 years ago

It sounds better then doing nothing and shaking our heads later.

Peter C.
Peter C8 years ago

This is such an important issue that all avenues are worth exploring. This I think would be more cost effective...

Therese Davey
Therese Davey8 years ago

This is a practical, common sense solution. Investing in preventative measure works in so many other spheres of social and economic life, why not apply to greater national problems? It just needs a strong commitment of time, energy, focus and money from people and world leaders who can really make this happen. We should all get behind this approach and who knows what lives we could save and tragedies we could prevent......