1st Edition

Mass Atrocities, the Responsibility to Protect and the Future of Human Rights ‘If Not Now, When?’

By Simon Adams Copyright 2021
    154 Pages
    by Routledge

    154 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book ambitiously weaves together history and politics to explain all of the major situations where mass atrocities have occurred, or been prevented, over the 15 years since the 'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P) was adopted at the 2005 UN World Summit.

    The author provides a history of human rights, mass atrocities and the principle of the R2P from the perspective of someone whose day job has been to work with the UN Security Council, various governments and civil society to help ensure the international community does not fail those who face the threat of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity today. It examines the implementation of the controversial principle of R2P since 2011 and how we end the politics of impunity, indifference and inaction once and for all. Using case studies from Iraq, Syria, Myanmar and Libya, the book offers a unique perspective regarding how we make 'never again' a living principle, rather than a cliché and how we end the politics of impunity, indifference and inaction once and for all.

    It will be of especial interest to scholars, students and policymakers working in the fields of international politics or concerned about human rights, atrocities, the United Nations and international justice in the world today.

    Introduction: It wasn’t supposed to be this way

    1. Why humans commit atrocities and how societies can change
    2. Regime change in Libya
    3. Moments on the margins of Syria’s civil war
    4. Terrorism, Genocide and the Islamic State
    5. Climate change and mass atrocities
    6. The fate of the Rohingya and the future of human rights
    7. Conclusion: The mass graves that were not dug

    Epilogue: Benjamin Ferencz says


    Simon Adams, PhD, is Executive Director of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, a human rights organization that provides policy advice and carries out advocacy with the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council regarding crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide. Dr. Adams has worked extensively with civil society organizations in South Africa, East Timor, Rwanda and elsewhere. He is the author of four books and regularly appears in the international media on matters related to the United Nations, human rights and conflict in the world today.