Currently viewing the tag: "famine"

Global Rights Compliance (GRC) and the World Peace Foundation (WPF) at The Fletcher School (Tufts University), partners in the project “Accountability for Starvation: Testing the Limits of the Law” have published a series of memos documenting how existing international law might apply to starvation conditions, and why it should be applied to Syria, South […]

Continue Reading

In March 1990, Africa Watch (the Africa division of Human Rights Watch) published a report on Sudan entitled Denying ‘The Honor of Living,’ Sudan: A Human Rights Disaster. Chapter 4 was entitled ‘Starvation as a Weapon of War’. It was the first HRW report to document links between human rights violations and the […]

Continue Reading

Monuments to Famine

On March 4, 2019 By

Since 1995, more than a hundred memorials to the Irish famine have been erected, from St Stephen’s Green in Dublin to sites in Sydney and Toronto. There are modest memorials in Liverpool and Cardiff – but nothing in London. The closest Britain has come to an apology was in 1997, when Tony Blair acknowledged the ‘deep scars’ of the famine. But the famines in India and Ireland are not yet part of our national story. A public monument, in White- hall, opposite the Treasury, or in St James’s Park, near the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, would be a first step – one we could take actively, rather than prevaricating until apologies are demanded by formerly colonised peoples. The memorial should leave space available to inscribe the names of famines in which British government complicity might come to play a part. ‘Yemen’ will be the first to be added.

Continue Reading

In a briefing paper, “Movement towards accountability for Starvation,” published today by the World Peace Foundation and Global Rights Compliance, we review two key advances that occurred in 2018, and indicate areas where more work is required. Below is from the executive summary:

Can starvation be prosecuted? While international criminal law (‘ICL’) has become increasingly sophisticated […]

Continue Reading

Think the word ‘famine’ and pay attention to what scenes come to mind. The enormous eyes and distended stomach of a suffering child; a parched landscaped; the rush of humanitarian actors, beating back the tide of death? Perhaps, it is a more specific image: from Sudan, Kevin Carter’s infamous image of a bird of prey, […]

Continue Reading

The history of twenty-five years of international criminal tribunals suggests that few culprits of starvation crimes would be indicted and fewer still tried and convicted. Even a successful prosecution would be mostly symbolic, as most perpetrators would escape. But this should not discourage us. Criminalizing starvation has many ramifications. It allows us to shift the shame of starvation from the victim to the perpetrator, to explore restorative justice including reparations, and to develop guarantees of non-recurrence.

The ultimate objective isn’t putting a villain in jail, but making the infliction of starvation so morally toxic that it is unthinkable.

Continue Reading