Early Warning for Protection
Technologies and practice for the prevention of mass atrocity crimes
The Early Warning for Protection conference was developed and implemented by Oxfam Australia in partnership with AusAID, the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, The University of Queensland and the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect. Hld in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 3-4 November 2010, the conference brought together non-government organisations and civil society organisations working with communities under threat of violence, with United Nations (UN) actors and technology specialists to explore ways to prevent mass atrocities.
An outcome document has been prepared from the conference and can be downloded below.
You can download summaries of each conference session below.
- Session 1: Introduction to early warning and atrocity prevention
- Session 2: Traditional early warning systems
- Session 3: New technologies and early warning
- Session 4: Engaging communities in the prevention of mass atrocities
- Session 5: Advocacy and communication for protection
In November 2009, a civil society workshop was held in Melbourne, Australia, exploring the role of NGOs in the prevention of atrocity crimes. One of the key elements of concern that arose from that workshop was the need for better integrated early warning systems and improved policy and program response to early warnings when they are raised. Read the outcome document from this workshop.
This Early Warning for Protection conference emerged as a result of that prior work and aimed to explore how private, public and civil society institutions could harness early warning technologies and mechanisms to contribute to the prevention of mass atrocity crimes.
The conference explored a number of issues.
- What is the role of new technologies in conflict early warning and how do they interact with more traditional monitoring systems?
- How can we harness, coordinate, and utilise the sometimes overwhelming amount of information available?
- What systems and mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure effective early-warning is given?
- How does the humanitarian sector work effectively with communities at risk once early-warning has been sounded?
- How can a change in attitude and behaviour at a policy level be brought about in a way that forestalls a descent to violence?
The conference falls within the context of the international community’s Responsibility to Protect, which is an emerging international principle developed to protect vulnerable populations from genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing.
Download select presentations and presenter publications here:
- Caroline Hargreaves and Sanjana Hattotuwa, ICTs4Peace Foundation, ICTs for the prevention of mass atrocity crimes, presented by Daniel Stauffacher, Chairman, ICT4Peace
- Anahi Ayala Iacucci, crisis mapper: New technologies and early warning systems in non-permissive environments
- Gus Miclat, Executive Director, Initiatives for International Dialogue: Humanitarian Communications and Lessons in Monitoring and Protection
- Casey Barrs, Cuny Centre: Support of Local Capacity to Survive Violence and supplementary documentation: How Civilians Survive Violence: A Preliminary Inventory
- Doris Mpoumou, Director International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect: Role of Civil Society in Advancing the Responsibility to Protect
- Mr. Francis Deng, Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide: Keynote address
- Lawrence Woocher, United States Institute of Peace: “Conceptualizing Early Warning: Core Tasks, Challenges, and Potential Roles for Civil Society”
- Maria Marilia Oliveira da Costa, NGO Belun and Sarah Dewhurst, Columbia University’s Center for International Conflict Resolution: The Role of Belun and CICR’s Early Warning, Early Response system in Ensuring Effective Warning and Response to Conflict Risks in Timor-Leste
- Matt Abud, Media and Communications Consultant: Learning to Listen: Communications in Humanitarian Disasters