“Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda, Kosovo, East Timor, Darfur—the list of mass atrocities since the 1990s is long. The systematic killing of thousands of civilians, the widespread displacement of many more civilians, sexual violence against women, and abduction and enslavement of children—these and other crimes against humanity are rampant in areas plagued by violent conflict. But the 1990s also saw another trend in reaction to the atrocities: a series of efforts by the international community to confront crimes against humanity and protect civilians from mass killings and targeted attacks in conflicts. These efforts included tackling such thorny issues as sovereignty—often equated with non-interference in the internal affairs of a state—as well as developing new principles such as the “responsibility to protect.” This doctrine asserts that sovereignty includes responsibilities as well as rights and that in extreme cases, external intervention to prevent or stop civilians from being brutalized and slaughtered may be justified. Despite these developments, ongoing crises in places such as Darfur in Western Sudan make many people question the will and capacity of governments, international organizations, and even non-governmental organizations to take effective action in the face of mass atrocities.” (Crimes Against Humanity, p. 3)
1. How would you define crimes against humanity? What kind of crimes that occur in your area that can be considered as crimes against humanity? List the characteristics for each crime. For example, hate crimes directed toward a certain racial/ethnic group or unjustified force used by law enforcement.
2. Describe the actors that are involved in stopping crimes against humanity and list possible intervention methods—from those that are the easiest to carry out to the most difficult. What factors make an intervention method easier or more difficult?
3. In the light of the current events what kind of changes would you propose to redefine law enforcement/policing?
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