Elie Wiesel Act Is Now U.S. Law

important anti-atrocity legislation is now federal law

Posted on January 15th, 2019

The Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act is now federal law! For the first time, the prevention of atrocities is now legally considered to be in the U.S. national interest.

Yesterday, The Elie Wiesel Act was signed into federal law by the President of the United States. This is a moment our organization and 600+ of our supporters in Tennessee helped make possible. Last update, we mentioned that because of your advocacy the bill passed out of Congress with widespread and bipartisan support and was sent to the President.

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What The Bill Does

S. 1158 is new federal legislation that helps ensure the U.S. government has the tools, training, and funding needed to save lives and promote peace when it becomes apparent that serious mass atrocity threats are emerging on foreign soil. Specifically, this legislation:

  • Affirms that atrocity prevention is in the U.S. national interest;
  • Calls on the government to pursue a government-wide strategy to: strengthen U.S. diplomatic, risk analysis/monitoring, early warning, and response capacities around atrocity crimes; improve the use of U.S. foreign assistance to address the root causes of violent conflict; strengthen support to transitional justice mechanisms and local civil society groups in countries at risk of or experiencing mass atrocities; support and strengthen local civil society, including human rights defenders and others working to help prevent and respond to atrocities; promote financial transparency and enhance anti-corruption initiatives as part of addressing causes of conditions that may lead to atrocities; and prioritize preventative diplomacy through unilateral, bilateral, and multilateral mechanisms;
  • Requires specialized training for Foreign Service Officers who will be deployed to a country experiencing or at risk of mass atrocities; and
  • Mandates annual reporting to Congress of the Executive Branch's efforts to prevent and respond to mass atrocities, provide an assessment of countries and regions at risk of such violence, and provide a report on Foreign Service Officer training.

Additional information about the bill and the full text can be found here

We would like to thank all of you for raising up your voices around this bill. A special thank you to now retired Senator Corker for his leadership in seeing the Elie Wiesel Act moved through his committee and into the Senate. We would also like to thank Congressmen David Kustoff (R-TN) and Steve Cohen (D-TN) for cosponsoring the House version of this bill that passed that chamber in July, as well as for their yay votes on S.1158 in 2018. 

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The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is accelerating their ability to generate lasting change by funding storytelling and movement-building, education and emergency response, and grassroots advocacy programs. Here are a few ways you can join us:

1. Join The Renewal. This is our family of monthly givers who never stop pushing the needle forwards. They give automatically each and every month, providing consistent support to the education and healthcare programs we empower. Monthly givers who donate $25+ a month also get free tickets to our two annual events! LEARN MORE »

2. Help Open A New School. When you make a one-time gift to the new high school we are helping to open in Yida Refugee Camp, your gift will be make a difference! GIVE HERE » 

3. Register For Our Gala. If you are in the Memphis, TN area with us, our 7th annual Gala is coming up on March 23, 2019 and it is going to be a breathtaking experience. Discounted earlybird tickets are now on sale and benefit the new school! LEARN MORE »

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About Mark

Mark began working on Sudan issues in 2007 after an eye-opening conversation with a genocide survivor from Darfur, Sudan. Since 2011 he has overseen the steady growth of our organization. Today, he serves as our Executive Director.

Mark makes sure our on the ground programs stay on the rails and that our movement remains focused on our end goal of closing our doors one day. He’s one of only a few Americans to have visited frontline areas in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan during the war.

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