Friday, April 24, 2020

Honoring Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day

By Rajika Shah, Deputy Director, Center for the Study of Law & Genocide

Today marks Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. Our thoughts are with the victims of the Armenian Genocide and every genocide. They lost lives and livelihoods, families and friends, and every basic sense of security in this world—yet the survivors find ways to live again and thrive. The difficulties and disruptions they faced inspire us to persevere through our own challenges.

We are also concerned for all the fragile populations around the world who are at greatest risk of humanitarian catastrophe due to the global Covid-19 pandemic: those who live in conditions of violence, conflict, and political instability; those living in refugee camps and shelters; and those without the resources to care for themselves and their families.

You can view information on our Armenian Genocide Remembrance events and all our past events, including links to videos of the presentations, here.





Monday, January 27, 2020

Reflecting on International Holocaust Remembrance Day

By Rajika Shah, Deputy Director, Center for the Study of Law & Genocide

Today, on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, we remember and honor all the victims and survivors of the Holocaust. We particularly mourn those who lost their lives at the Auschwitz concentration camp, which was liberated 75 years ago today.

We also celebrate an important step in the modern struggle to end genocide. Last Thursday, January 23, 2020, the International Court of Justice unanimously indicated binding provisional measures designed to preserve the rights protected by the 1948 Genocide Convention. Those rights were asserted by The Gambia against Myanmar and arose out of the egregious human rights abuses committed from October 2016 onwards against members of the Rohingya ethnic and religious minority group, hundreds of thousands of whom were forced to flee their homes in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state amid conditions of abject terror. The Gambia claimed protections for all members of the Rohingya who remain in the territory of Myanmar, as members of a protected group under the Genocide Convention. The Gambia also asserted its own rights under the Genocide Convention to seek compliance by Myanmar with its obligations as a signatory state to prevent genocide, to punish perpetrators, and of course to refrain from committing genocide itself.

Specifically, the Court ordered Myanmar to (1) take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide within the scope of Article II of the Convention in relation to members of the Rohingya within its territory; (2) ensure that the Myanmar military, including any irregular armed units directed or supported by it and any organizations or persons subject to its control, direction, or influence, do not commit any acts of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, direct and public incitement to commit genocide, attempt to commit genocide, or complicity in genocide, in relation to members of the Rohingya within its territory; and (3) take effective measures to preserve evidence relating to allegations of genocidal acts within the scope of the Genocide Convention. Within four months, Myanmar must report to the Court on the measures taken to give effect to the order.