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Lemkin Institute Newsletter


Here at the Lemkin Institute we have been busy preparing for an innovative initiative in genocide prevention that we plan to roll out over the next 12 months. It's aim is to use modern technology to connect ordinary people all over the world with training and resources necessary to create societies that nurture ethical leaders and are able to to hold those leaders accountable so that we can all finally say "Enough is Enough"!

The events of 2023 have shown us that the world is still not equipped to prevent genocide. It was profoundly disheartening to see leaders of powerful nations, especially the United States and European Union, countenance genocide as a legitimate means to acquire territory, secure resources, or eliminate political problems and threats in both Artsakh and Gaza, especially after decades of training in genocide prevention. The Lemkin Institute is committed to working to make sure that this never happens again.

The "2024: Year of Prevention" initiative take a new approach to prevention. It will educating people worldwide about genocide prevention tools, with a particular emphasis on the younger generation. Today's youth will shape the future; they must address humanity's shared challenges such as economic inequality, climate change, and environmental degradation. We believe that their solutions to these major problems can also help put an end to genocide. We want to train them to place genocide prevention at the core of everything that they do.

The Year of Prevention will consist of online trainings in genocide prevention, global events related to ongoing genocides and genocidal patterns, local, national, and issue-based small group discussions, webinars, and regular updates on Year of Prevention activities worldwide.

In December 2024, we will host a Global Youth Summit for Genocide Prevention online, bringing together the young people who participated in our Year of Prevention campaign to share their findings and exchange ideas across borders. The summit will explore what it takes to create a world that is free from genocide in the future.



Israel-Palestine Timeline

The Lemkin Institute created a timeline of warnings about the risk for mass atrocity in Israel-Palestine to show that genocide prevention and human rights organizations had been sounding the alarm for several years before October 7, 2023.



Public Presentations


International Coalition of Countries for the Return of Ukrainian Children in Kyiv, Ukraine

On December 8, 2023 the Lemkin Institute Executive Director, Dr. Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, spoke at the First Meeting of the International Coalition of Countries for the Return of Ukrainian Children in Kyiv.

The Meeting was hosted by the Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets and is part of an initiative proposed by Canada at a meeting held in Malta earlier this year on the implementation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s Peace Formula.

At the week’s meeting, representatives from over 60 European and external states expressed support for the initiative and pledged to work together to bring Ukrainian children home.

According to data from the Ukrainian Ombudsman, Russia has forcibly transferred over 19,000 known Ukrainian children to Russia. Russia claims it has deported hundreds of thousands, but provides no information on their identities or whereabouts to Ukrainian authorities.

The forcible transfer of children from one group to another group is an act of genocide recognized by Article II.e. of the Genocide Convention.

On December 8, Dr. von Joeden-Forgey presented the the case for genocide committed in Ukraine by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and other officials.

Since 2022 the Lemkin Institute has written three ICC communications with its Ukrainian partners at the Regional Center for Human Rights on evidence of the crime of genocide related to the forced transfer of Ukrainian children.




On December 4, the Lemkin Institute cosponsored a community discussion on genocide in Gaza with Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN). Executive Director Dr. Elisa von Joeden-Forgey joined other speakers on a panel and shared the Lemkin Institute's approach to genocide prevention, which enabled the Institute to warn of red flags for the mass killing pattern of genocide years before October 7.




Conference on the Occasion of Human Rights, Artsakh Constitution, Artsakh Independence Referendum, and Genocide Prevention Days, Yerevan, Armenia

At the request of the organizers, Lemkin Institute Executive Director Dr. Elisa von Joeden-Forgey prepared a recorded video for the "Conference on the Violation of Human Rights: From Baku to Yerevan," which took place on December 10 in Yerevan, Armenia.

Dr. von Joeden-Forgey outlined the genocidal nature of Azerbaijan's September 19 invasion of the Republic of Artsakh, which resulted in the forcible displacement of almost the entire Armenian population, and also suggested important steps that can be taken going forward to protect the distinct, 4000-year-old Artsakh identity as well as the lives of Armenians living in the Republic of Armenia.




On November 30, 2023 Lemkin Institute Executive Director Dr. Elisa von Joeden-Forgey spoke at the European Union of Armenia conference on Contemporary Principles of Human Rights Protection in a Globalizing World. In her speech, "Tools for Genocide Prevention in the 21st Century," she discussed the reasons for the failure of prevention and shared what is hopeful about a grassroots framework going forward.




United Nations Forum on Minority Issues, Geneva, Switzerland

Two of the representatives of the Lemkin Institute, Director of Communications Lexi Poston and Researcher Sam Adams, traveled to Geneva to represent the Lemkin Institute at the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues. They called attention to the violation of minority rights in Uzbekistan with particular reference to the Karakalpak people who are suffering from a structural genocide.

The Karakalpak people are a distinct group in Uzbekistan with a distinct language and culture. They predominantly reside in a semi-autonomous sovereign republic called Karakalpakstan, which borders Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and consider themselves to be indigenous to the territory.



75th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Geneva, Switzerland

In December, our Director of Communications, Lexi Poston, and our Director of Operations , Lea Perillat, traveled to Geneva to attend the intersessional meeting commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

This year's gathering tackled the misuse of new technologies, in particular social media platforms, as vectors of hate speech contributing to national, ethnic, racial, or religious polarization.


Genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and hate crimes frequently occur in conjunction with or are preceded by statements from political leaders and public figures endorsing the superiority of a particular race or ethnic group. These declarations demonize persons belonging to minorities, disseminate hostility and prejudice against ethnic, religious, or racial groups, or condone or justify violence against them.


Statements


December 23, 2023 During a meeting with the EU Ambassador to Ukraine on November 9, 2023 Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine Olha Stefanishyna stated that the issue of Russian language rights in Ukraine is not raised during negotiations with the EU on minority rights because "there is no Russian minority in Ukraine.


December 20, 2023 The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention is deeply distressed by the continued complicity of the United States in the ongoing genocide in Gaza being committed by US ally Israel. The administration of President Joe Biden shares responsibility for the nightmarish loss of Palestinian life and property in Gaza due to the indiscriminate nature of Israel's air and ground operations.


December 8, 2023 The Lemkin Institute regards with dismay and sorrow the inaction and apparent powerlessness of the "international community" towards the ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.


November 22, 2023 The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention is alarmed by the rise of antisemitism worldwide in the wake of Hamas's lethal October 7 attack on southern Israel and the State of Israel's genocide of the Palestinian people that is unfolding in Gaza.


November 13, 2023 The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention energetically condemns the 15-year prison sentence handed down to Mr. Vagif Khachatryan on 7 November 2023 by the Republic of Azerbaijan.


SOS Alerts

The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention implores the international community to impose a ceasefire and act immediately to help ensure that UNRWA is resupplied with fuel. Without a ceasefire, the world knows what the future holds for the remaining civilians of Gaza and those who are giving everything to sustain them.


Active Genocide Alerts

10 December 2023


16 November 2023

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