Currently viewing the tag: "famine"

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 […]

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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, […]

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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.

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The diversion (a.k.a. stealing, manipulation) of food aid by the Houthis in Yemen is suddenly getting a lot of press. The detailed investigation by the Associated Press documents abuses on both sides, but most press coverage (ex: The Guardian) has focused on the allegations against the Houthis. The World Food Programme alleges that all […]

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A British Member of Parliament has proposed starving Ireland as a negotiating tactic.

If this remark were on the historical record for the 1840s, when the British government administered mass starvation in Ireland, it would join the black book of infamy, evidence for the inhumanity of the British establishment.

But last week, Priti Patel, MP […]

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At the outset of the war, it might have been reasonable to hope that pressure would force the Houthis to submit. Since it takes months to starve people, a brief period of hardship would not have involved a level of suffering disproportionate to the military objective. But, within months of the launch of the war, humanitarian agencies were warning of crisis, and there were no indications of Houthi surrender. By persisting with this method of war, Bin Salman knew for sure that thousands of Yemeni children would die from hunger and disease.

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