Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Reducing the Risk of Mass Atrocities

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 10:00am
2200 Rayburn House Office Building


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on local and national-level strategies to reduce the risk of mass atrocities around the world.  

“Mass atrocities” are large-scale deliberate attacks against civilians, and include genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. After World War II the international community vowed never again to stand by in the face of genocide and mass atrocities. But since then these crimes have been committed in many countries and contexts, resulting in the suffering and deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Millions more have been forced to flee, generating profound humanitarian, political, and national security consequences.   

This hearing will explore different approaches employed by civil society actors to prevent atrocities by identifying and countering patterns of systematic violation of human rights, reducing the risk of the outbreak of violence or armed conflict or limiting its escalation, and improving social resilience. These approaches are process-oriented and prioritize engagement with key actors, education, strengthening institutional capacities and changing incentives at the local and national level. Witnesses will draw on cases of success and failure to identify best practices and offer recommendations for policymakers. 

This is the second in a series of hearings designed to reflect on the challenges to successful prevention and identify opportunities for Congress to improve U.S. government capacities to detect and respond to emerging humanitarian and human rights crises around the world. 

This hearing will be open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. The hearing will be livestreamed via the Commission website, and will also be available for viewing on Channel 51 of the House Digital Channel service. For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton at 202-225-3599 or (for Mr. McGovern) or Jamie Staley at 202-226-1516 or (for Mr. Hultgren). 

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Randy Hultgren, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC

Opening Remarks


Panel I

  • Bridget Moix, Senior U.S. Representative and Head of Advocacy, Peace Direct  
    Written testimony
  • Jack Mayerhofer, Chief of Staff, Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation 
    Written testimony
  • Jai-Ayla Quest, Program Officer, Stanley Foundation   
    Written testimony
  • Vasu Mohan, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)   
    Written testimony
  • George Lopez, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies, Kroc Institute for Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
    Written testimony

Submitted for the Record

Rep. Steve Cohen, Statement for the Record
Peace Direct, Atrocity Prevention and Peacebuilding: Key insights and lessons from a global consultation convened by Peace Direct - Executive Summary
Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, Building Resilience to Genocide: Ten Practical Measures
Samantha Capicotto and Rob Scharf, National Mechanisms for the Prevention of Atrocity Crimes
Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, Pursuing Institutionalization of the Prevention Agenda
Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, Integration into the State Architecture for Prevention
Sheri P. Rosenberg, Getting Down to Business: Uncovering the Roles Played by Enterprises in Enabling and Preventing Atrocity Crimes
International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Countering Hate Speech in Elections: Strategies for Electoral Management Bodies
Stanley Foundation, Policy Brief: The Power of the Private Sector in Preventing Atrocities and Promoting the Responsibility to Protect
Stanley Foundation, Policy Memo: The Power of the Private Sector in Preventing Atrocities and Promoting the Responsibility to Protect
Stanley Foundation, Preventing Mass Atrocities: A Road Map for Legislators
Stanley Foundation, Reducing Risk, Strengthening Resilience: Toward the Structural Prevention of Atrocity Crimes




115th Congress