The global network of civil society working to advance the Responsibility to Protect and the prevention of atrocities continues to grow and strengthen as the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) welcomes eight new Coalition Members: the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma, the Center for the Training and the Development of Ex-Combatants, the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies, the Igarape Institute, the Lebanese Foundation for Permanent Civil Peace, National Youth Action, the Women’s Institute for Alternative Development, and Youth Action for Development. These organizations work in a variety of fields and come from all over the world, including the countries of Brazil, Burundi, Lebanon, Liberia, Syria, Thailand and Trinidad and Tobago.
Read below to learn about how the ICRtoP’s new members are working to prevent and respond to genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing. You can learn more about all of the ICRtoP’s 60 Members and visit our Join the Coalition Page for further information on how your organization can become a part of the Coalition. We encourage you to reach out to these groups for their expertise, inspiration and partnership. ICRtoP will feature their RtoP-related work under L atest from the Coalition on our website: http://responsibilitytoprotect.org/.
1. Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (Bangkok, Thailand)
The Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma (ALTSEAN-Burma) is a network of organizations and individuals founded in 1996 at the Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok that works towards the fulfillment and enjoyment of democracy and human rights in Burma. ALTSEAN-Burma engages in advocacy, campaigns and capacity building, and endeavors to strengthen relationships between networks and organizations at the national, regional – within the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – and international levels to work towards the fulfillment of human rights in Burma in a coordinated manner. The organization aims to implement strategies based on emerging needs and developments on the ground, and aims to empower particularly vulnerable local groups, for example through economic literacy training or more recently, a campaign to call for the United Nations to establish an independent commission of inquiry to investigate crimes against humanity and war crimes in Burma. ALTSEAN-Burma also undertakes research, publishing both reports and monthly bulletins on violations against religious and ethnic minorities.
2. Center for the Training and the Development of Ex-Combatants (Bujumbura, Burundi)
The Center for the Training and the Development of Ex-Combatants (CEDAC) was established in Burundi in 2005, and works to prevent the reoccurrence of violence through the training of and engagement with ex-combatants and victims of conflict. Through the provision of psychosocial support and training on human rights, CEDAC works directly with populations to create an environment that promotes safety and security. CEDAC prioritizes the importance of the inclusion of women, particularly female ex-combatants, in their processes and also focuses on the impact of the illicit flow of arms on societies. To this end, the organization launched a campaign on the disarmament of civilians in Burundi, reaching over 25,000 ex-combatants from various armed movements in the country.
3.Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (Damascus, Syria)
The Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies (DCHRS) was initially established in Damascus in 2005, but has since relocated and is now headquartered in the United States. DCHRS undertakes research projects, holds conferences and workshops, and engages in media outreach to promote human rights domestically and regionally, and emphasizes the need for national policies that support international human rights and humanitarian law. DCHRS also publishes casualty reports on the ongoing attacks committed in Syria, identifying the victims and investigating possible perpetrators as an effort t to document serious human rights violations.
4. Igarape Institute (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Founded in 2011, the Igarape Institute is a think tank that promotes progressive debate and reflection on security and development in Brazil, at the regional level within Latin America, and internationally. The organization works in three programmatic areas – global drug policy, violence prevention and reduction, and international cooperation – and conducts research, advocacy and technical support, engaging with governments, private sector representatives, and other non-governmental organizations. The Institute works to increase awareness of RtoP in Brazil and other emerging countries by publishing policy papers, holding events, and conducting advocacy efforts. Recentl y, the organization held a conference on RtoP and the ‘responsibility while protecting’ concept, which resulted in the publication of an edited volume featuring the perspectives of a range of experts. The Igarape Institute also conducts programmatic initiatives on related agendas, such as the protection of civilians, displacement, gende r violence prevention, and others.
5. Lebanese Foundation for Permanent Civil Peace (Beirut, Lebanon)
The Lebanese Foundation for Permanent Civil Peace (LFPCP), founded in 1987, focuses on strengthening the domestic promotion of peace and human rights through research, capacity building, and the sharing of information amongst key actors. LFPCP publishes research in the areas of civic education and peace, the role of civil society in democratization, and the development of social policies to strengthen peace. Additionally, LFPCP’s programs engage with a range of actors including other NGOs, students, and communities that have experienced conflict, to raise awareness of a range of topics including human rights, peacebuilding, and rule of law, as well as to strengthen partnerships and exchange information between these audiences.
6. National Youth Action, Inc. (Monrovia, Liberia)
Having initially begun as a community group in 2008, National Youth Action, Inc. (NAYA) has since expanded to become a national NGO and works to assist with the post-crisis rehabilitation of communities affected by war, particularly focusing on engagement with youth and other vulnerable populations. NAYA’s programs focus on educating on human rights, sexual and gender-based violence, and discrimination, and target issues such as poverty, unemployment and corruption. Past projects have included initiatives to engage with female sex workers to find other means and tools for livelihood, such as creating and selling soap and pastries. NAYA was also one of 34 NGOs selected to receive capacity building training through the Liberia Civil Society and Media Training Program launched by International Research and Exchanges Board in partnership with United States Agency for International Development.
7.Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (Belmont, Trinidad and Tobago)
Founded in 1999, the Women’s Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD) is an organization dedicated to strengthening the capacity and social consciousness of women and girls in Trinidad and Tobago with the goal of influencing social transformation in the country. In working to meet this goal, WINAD conducts research, advocacy, and awareness raising work on issues such as arms control and the effect of illicit weapons on human security, gender justice and equality, and human rights. The organization’s initiatives promote women’s participation in all decision making processes, respect for the rights of women and elimination of all forms of violence or discrimination, as well as collaboration between government officials and civil society in achieving these goals. In carrying out their work, WINAD engages with a range of actors including state institutions, local communities, and schools.
8.Youth Action for Development (Bujumbura, Burundi)
Youth Action for Development (YAD) is a network of individuals and youth organizations based in Burundi. Founded in 2005, YAD focuses on human rights education; engaging with women’s groups and local youth through a range of financial and entrepreneurship programs; and conducting environmental education and awareness raising. To achieve its goals, YAD develops onsite projects, conducts research and issues publications, and organizes workshops and professional conferences. Through their focus on education and training, YAD seeks to promote the economic empowerment of communities to eradicate poverty and thus assist with preventing the resurgence of crisis in Burundi.