Preventing genocide and mass atrocities advances U.S. national security interests and saves lives. As our organization has personally witnessed in Sudan and also seen from afar in Syria, the outbreak of atrocities leads to significant global consequences that put an enormous strain on the international community. Ongoing mass atrocity crises in Sudan, Syria, and elsewhere undermines American leadership, values, and economic interests.
Background On The Elie Wiesel Act
Progress on this issue has been excruciatingly slow, but there is now the opportunity to take a huge leap forwards. The Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act (S.1158) recently introduced in the Senate will authorize the structures, funding, and training necessary to ensure that efforts to prevent mass atrocity crimes are more successful.
This legislation is also good news for us as taxpayers. The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) indicates that $16 is saved for every $1 that is put unto effective atrocity prevention efforts. When the U.S. government helps build peace globally through robust diplomcacy, it helps keep America out of costly wars, prevents refugee crises, and helps stop extremism from flourishing.
The Elie Wiesel Act's companion bill in the House is also moving forwards.
59 Organizations Call On Senator Corker To Support The Elie Wiesel Act
59 non-governmental organizations, including us, issued a letter today urging Senator Corker to bring the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2017 (S.1158) before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for markup at the next business meeting.
You can see the letter text, our justifications for why Senator Corker needs to act, and signers below:
May 29, 2018
The Honorable Bob Corker
United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee Dirksen Senate Office Building 423
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Chairman Corker:
We write to urge your expedited leadership to bring the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act of 2017 (S.1158) before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for markup at the next business meeting.
On May 17, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed an amended version of the companion bill (H.R.3030) introduced by Rep. Ann Wagner by unanimous voice vote. The House bill’s bipartisan co- sponsors include Chairman Ed Royce and Ranking Member Eliot Engel along with 26 other HFAC Members. We urge consideration of the House text before SFRC without further amendment.
There is growing recognition that the U.S. government can and must work to get ahead of crises, especially genocide and mass atrocities, and that doing so is in the U.S. national security interests. This bipartisan, bicameral legislative effort serves to further support the ongoing work of the Atrocities Prevention Board at the National Security Council as well as the increased emphasis on violence prevention at the U.S. Agency for International Development initiated by the Trump Administration.
As we have seen in places like Syria, atrocities can give rise to ungoverned spaces that can enable violent extremism to flourish, disrupt economies, drive massive refugee flows, and put populations at risk for human trafficking. Further, mass atrocities can cost the United States billions of dollars in response efforts when prevention is not prioritized.
The Elie Wiesel Act offers a first tangible step toward advancing Congressional leadership on the critical issue of atrocities prevention in line with U.S. interests and security. We urge your leadership in scheduling S.1158 for markup at the next business meeting, and your support for the H.R.3030 text as passed out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Alliance for Peacebuilding
American Jewish Committee
American Jewish World Service
American Psychological Association
Armenian National Committee of America Association of Holocaust Organizations Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation Better World Campaign
CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center Carl Wilkens Fellowship
Center for Justice and Accountability
The Center for Victims of Torture
Charity & Security Network
Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy
Church World Service
Coalition Against Global Genocide
Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Conference of Major Superiors of Men (Catholic)
Darfur Action Group of South Carolina
Darfur and Beyond
Disciples Center for Public Witness
The Educators' Institute for Human Rights
The Episcopal Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Foreign Policy for America
Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Georgia Coalition to Prevent Genocide
Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Holocaust and Humanity Center
Humanity Is Us
International Justice Project
Investors Against Genocide
Jewish Council for Public Affairs
Jewish World Watch
JPIC Committee of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur
National Council of Churches
Never Again Coalition
Operation Broken Silence
Pax Christi International
Pittsburgh Darfur Emergency Coalition
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
San Antonio Coalition Against Genocide
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Institute Justice Team
STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities
Stop Genocide Now
Together We Remember
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
The United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law
The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is working to accelerate their ability to generate lasting change through storytelling and movement-building, education and emergency response, and grassroots advocacy programs.
Here are three simple and effective ways you can help empower the Sudanese people directly:
1. Become A Fundraiser. You can start an online fundraising page for the Endure Primary School in Yida Refugee Camp or Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains. Your efforts will change lives. BECOME A FUNDRAISER »
2. Live in Tennessee? We need your help. The Elie Wiesel Genocide & Atrocities Prevention Act (S.1158) is currently sitting in the U.S. Senate. Despite a third of the Senate cosponsoring S.1158, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) has not allowed for the bill to be marked up and moved through committee. TAKE ACTION »
3. Give. If you're not ready to fundraise or advocate, making a one-time donation to the school is the perfect next step for you. GIVE HERE »