Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Genocide Watch has creatively adapted its work to predict, prevent, stop and punish genocide and other forms of mass murder. We have ensured the safety of our staff and our Alliance Against Genocide member organizations by developing a creative, effective virtual program. Genocide Watch staff must work virtually, rather than in person in an office. Rather than allowing the pandemic to handicap our work, Genocide Watch has thrived.
Using the power of virtual communications, Genocide Watch has conducted hundreds of meetings with its twenty person staff in the US, Canada, the UK, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain. Our three-person Management Team is located in Northern Virginia and Montreal, Canada. Genocide Watch has actively participated in international meetings to plan projects for genocide prevention, including meetings at the National Security Council, the State Department, and with Alliance partner organizations in Washington DC, Nigeria, and Iraq.
Genocide Watch’s operational methodology to maintain timely and reliable information on threats of genocide has four pillars: Staff Development, Digital Education, Virtual Communication, and the Alliance Against Genocide.
Genocide Watch has always relied on brilliant volunteer staff members to assist Dr. Gregory Stanton in developing reports and educational resources on genocidal processes that are communicated to policy makers to warn them when preventive action is needed. These staff members do not receive monetary compensation. Student interns receive course credit for their work. Guided by his mentorship, leadership, and experience, Dr. Stanton has created a highly sought after, formative internship program that has launched many interns’ careers in genocide prevention.
Genocide Watch maintains a loyalty among its former interns that lasts for years. To ensure that COVID-19 did not impede Genocide Watch’s ability to report on threats of genocides, in March 2020, Vanessa Cardenas, Deanna Wilken, and Lola Flomen three former Genocide Watch interns currently working in law, anti-human trafficking and global public health developed a virtual internship program for 2020. They recruited ten extraordinary summer interns from universities around the world. The staff includes members who hold degrees in genocide studies, conflict resolution, public health, and law, and others are students in subjects as diverse as mathematics, economics, journalism, criminology, and public policy.
Utilising the interactive communications platform, Microsoft Teams, the three-person Management Team trained ten Summer Interns from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Spain. They were joined by ten more staff members in the Fall of 2020. Genocide Watch plans to continue its virtual staff program in Spring 2020. We will sponsor virtual internships even after the COVID-19 crisis has ended.
Virtual internships and volunteer staff positions make it possible for Genocide Watch to benefit from the skills of volunteer staff from around the world, including those who cannot afford to move to Washington, DC, as well as students who are still engaged in taking courses or writing masters or doctoral theses.
Introduced by Genocide Watch’s Chief Program Officer, Deanna Wilken, Genocide Watch's Timestream Team, including Sarah Kane, Tom Shacklock, Anna Killen, Holly Scala, Eli Szydio, and Sehnaz Guven, working with the entire Genocide Watch staff, produced interactive histories of genocides on the Timestream platform. Timestream is software originally developed by the Ntrepid Corporation to provide law enforcement and government policy agencies with software to organize the histories of crimes, conflicts, and other complex social processes. Ms. Wilken recognized that Timestream is ideally suited to organize the detailed histories of conflicts that have resulted in or may lead to genocides. Genocide Watch is the first human rights organization to use this powerful software platform. Timestream is an educational tool that can be very helpful to teachers and students who are studying genocides. It is more powerful than PowerPoint because it permits one click access to supporting charts, photos, news articles, and reports that enrich the presentation of historical data. Click here to view Timestreams on Myanmar’s Genocide of the Rohingya, India’s threats to Muslims in Assam, and other histories.
Co-created by interns Naveen Bhatia and Alexandra Sharp, and continued by Eli Finkelson, Genocide Watch launched a new Podcast Series: Conversations on Genocide. Genocide Watch has a Zoom licence to record the audio and video of interviews. We subscribed to SoundCloud to disseminate the podcasts to our listeners. Click here to listen to the first episode, featuring Dr. Gregory Stanton, the Founding President of Genocide Watch. Genocide Watch aims to publish a new episode once a month and will be featuring genocide experts and survivor testimonies.
Led by Senior Research Director Lola Flomen, Genocide Watch's Research Team, including Eli Szydio, Nat Hill, Lauren Salim, Holly Scala, Vian Saggo, Jennifer Kirby-Mclemore, Sehnaz Guven, Giada Corsoni, and Fiona Neibart are assisting Dr. Stanton with his book for secondary schools on The Ten Stages of Genocide.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Stanton has been collaborating with key U.S. policy makers to plan U.S. government actions to assist Nigeria in stopping genocidal massacres against Christians in northeast and central Nigeria. In June, Dr. Stanton spoke at the National Security Council with former Congressman Frank Wolf, who is a member of the Genocide Watch Board of Advisors. They advocated a U.S. Special Envoy to investigate the crimes against humanity in Nigeria. Dr. Stanton also spoke at press conferences on the genocide of Christians in Nigeria organized by In Defense of Christians and by the International Campaign on Nigeria, both Alliance Against Genocide members organizations.
Led by intern, Eric Ross, Genocide Watch created an interactive map of Nigeria and West Africa illustrating the increased frequency and intensity of Boko Haram, Fulani jihadist, and ISIS in West Africa attacks against Christian civilian populations.
In June, Dr. Stanton’s statement on Turkey’s war crimes and crimes against humanity in northern Syria was included as evidence in the US Commission on International Religious Freedom’s virtual hearing on Safeguarding Religious Freedom in Northeast Syria.
To commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Srebrenica Genocide, Dr. Stanton spoke about the “Cost of Denial” in a special webinar event for the Post-Conflict Research Center in Sarajevo. Intern Linda Zheng published a country report on current genocide denial in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Dr. Stanton spoke in virtual webinars about the cases against Myanmar in the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court for Myanmar’s violation of the Genocide Convention against the Rohingya.
Written by every member of the Genocide Watch staff, Genocide Alerts were published for Venezuela, the Democratic Republic of the Congo , Myanmar’s on-going genocide against the Rohingyas, the threat of genocide against Muslims in India’s Kashmir and Assam, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Syria, Azerbaijan’s Invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh, and continuing threats to Yazidis in Iraq. Genocide Watch also published early warnings about Belarus, Côte d’Ivoire, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mozambique, and Mali.
Developed by interns Sarah Kane and Linda Zheng, Genocide Watch sent out a monthly newsletter to subscribers with updates about its Genocide Alerts, its virtual projects, and its new educational resources. It also sent a monthly Alliance newsletter to member organizations in the Alliance Against Genocide, to key policy makers in the US, UK, Europe, and the UN, and to people who subscribe on our website.
The Alliance Against Genocide:
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, the Alliance Against Genocide.
Chief Operating Officer, Vanessa Cardenas, and Alliance Coordinators Lauren Salim and Irene Soteriou expanded the Alliance Against Genocide. They created a new website, www.againstgenocide.org. The Alliance now has 80 active member organizations in 31 countries. The Alliance website will disseminate news from Alliance members through direct links to their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts.
With Alliance Against Genocide member, the Antiquities Coalition, Genocide Watch's Legal Team, including Dr. Stanton and Julia Sierra, filed an amicus curiae brief in the case of Bosco Ntaganda at the International Criminal Court. The Legal Team added Vian Saggo, Jennifer Kirby-Mclemore, and Giada Corsoni in December. The team is doing the research for a law review article refuting William Schabas's erroneous interpretation of intent in his defense of Myanmar in the case brought by the Gambia against Myanmar in the International Court of Justice for violation of the Genocide Convention.
In November, Genocide Watch held an Alliance webinar on the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations. We also participated in webinars on Sudan, the persecution of Muslims in India, and the genocidal massacres of Christians in Nigeria.
The Alliance Against Genocide is planning a virtual meeting of the leaders of all Alliance member organizations this Spring.
A special note of thanks to our donors:
Rather than let the COVID-19 crisis stop us, Genocide Watch has become stronger.
We thank you for your generous support of Genocide Watch!
We cannot do this work without you!
Dr. Gregory H. Stanton
December 26, 2020