Mass Violence and Atrocities | Discussion Takeaways

Preventing Mass Atrocities: A Road Map for Legislators

July 2017


No society is immune to changing dynamics that can lead to mass atrocities. Although all individuals share a responsibility to prevent these worst forms of violence, legislators are uniquely placed to counter threats to peace and security and have authority and influence to strengthen societal resilience to mass violence and atrocities at home and abroad.

Legislators can engage at all stages of violence—before, during, and after—to prevent, stall, and halt mass atrocities, prioritizing action based on which inhibitors of atrocity crimes are most weak in the specific country.

This policy memo provides general guidelines legislators can follow to strengthen societal resilience and prevent mass atrocities at home and abroad. The guidelines were identified and discussed during the roundtable “Global Parliamentarians: The Role of the Legislative Branch in Building National Mechanisms for Atrocity Prevention,” held April 13–14, 2017, in The Hague, Netherlands.