Genocide Watch is the first international anti-genocide organization. It was founded as part of the first international coalition for the prevention of genocide, The Alliance Against Genocide. Genocide Watch is a non-partisan, non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) volunteer organization that pays no salaries and keeps its overhead very low. Genocide Watch has spent a total of $100,000 in 20 years — $5000 per year.
Genocide Watch provides education to the public about how and why genocide develops, including early warning signs for threats of mass killing, and reports on current genocidal situations. Our reports are posted on our website, sent to the member organizations in the Alliance Against Genocide, and sent to U.S. Congress, the U.S. State Department, major newspapers, and to the U.N.’s Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide.
Genocide Watch interns maintain the most actively viewed website on genocide on the internet at http://genocidewatch.com, and we maintain two websites with Genocide Watch archives covering the years 1999-2016 at www.genocidewatch.net and www.genocidewatch.org. We use Facebook and Twitter to communicate with thousands of people around the world who follow our work every day.
The Alliance Against Genocide has grown to over 75 member organizations in 24 countries. Some of our members (e.g. The International Crisis Group, Minority Rights Group, International Alert, The Knights of Columbus, and Survival International) are much larger than Genocide Watch. We rely on the international network of the Alliance for accurate reporting and analysis of events around the world that are warning indicators of genocidal processes.
Genocide Watch has never tried to build an organizational empire. Our purpose is to be a catalyst to encourage the organization of anti-genocide organizations around the world and to coordinate a network of those organizations.
Genocide Watch continued to maintain its widely used website, www.genocidewatch.com, on events in countries at risk of genocide. Much of this work was done by student interns and volunteers who are now located around the world. The website is used as a resource by teachers for classes on genocide in many secondary schools and universities, and it is also a means of communication with policymakers and scholars in the field of genocide studies.
Genocide Watch spoke at the Working Group on Religious Pluralism at the Hudson Institute with meetings led by Nina Shea. This group grew out of the Genocide Working Group that was founded in 2015 by Shea, Prof. Robert Destro, and Dr. Gregory Stanton to get Congress, the State Department, and the European Parliament to recognize that ISIS was committing genocide in Iraq and Syria. In 2016, Congress passed a unanimous resolution declaring that ISIS was committing genocide, and Secretary of State John Kerry also made this declaration. The European Parliament passed a similar resolution.
As a follow-up to that declaration, we supported a bill to provide substantial aid to groups displaced by ISIS in Iraq, which passed the Senate and House and was signed into law by the President. Funds allocated for that purpose are now being distributed to local NGO’s through USAID. Genocide Watch attended the Religious Freedom Roundtable convened by the State Department in July 2018.
In July 2018, Dr. Stanton spoke at a conference convened by the Dutch parliament in the Hague on how to prosecute members of ISIS for crimes against humanity and genocide. He has also advised a Yazidi prosecutor in Kurdistan who is gathering evidence for such prosecutions.
Genocide Watch played a leading role in response to the genocide and forced displacement of the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar that climaxed in August 2017. Over a million Rohingya refugees are now in Bangladesh, another 120,000 are in Malaysia, and 500,000 are in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. Dr. Stanton spoke at a roundtable on the crisis at the University of Ottawa School of Law in August 2018 as well as at an international conference at Columbia University in New York City in February 2019.
Of those conferences, a working group was formed to approach governments that can take Myanmar to the International Court of Justice for violation of the Genocide Convention. The working group traveled to Malaysia in March 2019 at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of Malaysia and presented options for legal action. It has also contacted other groups and governments working on this project, including the governments of Gambia and Canada. Dr. Stanton drafted an application (legal brief) to be presented to the International Court of Justice by a nation willing to take the case.
Gambia took its dispute with Myanmar for violation of the Genocide Convention to the International Court of Justice in December 2019. Dr. Stanton commented on the case for the Burmese television service of Radio Free Asia, which was broadcast into Myanmar.
Genocide Watch declared Genocide Alerts for Kashmir and the Assam States in India and spoke against the Modi government’s Hindu nationalist policies discriminating against Muslims. Dr. Stanton was interviewed by Voice of America and an Indian television network about the alerts.
Besides the conferences above, Dr. Stanton spoke at other conferences, including at Georgetown University School of Law, Michigan State University School of Law, and Trinity University School of Law. He also conducted classes for a number of secondary schools and colleges in the U.S.
Dr. Stanton attended the biennial meetings of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in July 2019. The conference centered around the Khmer Rouge genocide and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which Dr. Stanton was instrumental in founding.
Dr. Stanton retired from his research professorship at the George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution. George Mason University ended its affiliation with and provision of office space for Genocide Watch. Genocide Watch is now seeking a new university home.
Gregory H. Stanton