Preventing and Responding to Genocide and Mass Atrocity Crimes

Date of Implementation: June 2011 (Ongoing)
Partners: UN Office of the Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide
Supported By: UN Office on Genocide Prevention (UNOGP)

Primary Objective: To the increase the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) working in the Balkans in the fields of human rights, social work, law, peacebuilding and transitional justice to prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocity crimes.

For the past 5 years, PCRC has been working in partnership with the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention (UNOGP) to organize a series of regional seminars that educate participants about the causes and dynamics of genocide and related atrocity crimes, how to recognize the warning signs of potential conflict, and the various policies and mechanisms that exist to prevent genocide and mass atrocity crimes.

Participants are instructed on the use of the UN’s framework of analysis in determining whether there may be a risk of genocide in a given situation. They also learn about early warning and response strategies, how to report conditions on the ground to the appropriate actors, how to respond to concerns of local and regional partners by mobilizing appropriate action at the international level, how to organize local communities to counter hate speech and violence, and how to use social media and other technologies in their efforts to prevent violent conflict.

The final portion of the seminar is dedicated to the presentation of the various preventive policy options available to transform domestic institutions into instruments of prevention. Space is also given to participating representatives to identify opportunities for direct collaboration with the UNOGP and between one another. PCRC has now successfully trained approximately 120 civil society representatives after completing seminars in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Budva, Montenegro, Skopje, Macedonia, and Belgrade, Serbia.

“These kinds of seminars make it possible for civil society organizations to connect, exchange their opinions and improve their cooperation which is one of the most important steps in the process of reconciliation.”
- Program Participant, Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina (2016)