Accountability for Starvation

Can the crime of mass starvation be prosecuted?

Global Rights Compliance in partnership with The World Peace Foundation combined their expertise on conflict, food insecurity, and international law to advance the prevention, prohibition, and accountability for mass starvation.

Research addressed historical and on-going cases of mass starvation, key concepts for understanding starvation crimes, and examination of response mechanisms. Legal analysis sought to delineate the elements of starvation crimes and to disentangle what is permissible and impermissible in warfare.

The Project worked towards operationalising UN Security Council Resolution S/RES/2417 (‘UNSC 2417’), through a concerted focus on the legal and factual, demands raised by mass starvation, especially with regard to the direct impact of armed conflict on food security, ensuring that UNSC 2417 delivers more than rhetoric. 

This project (2018 – 2022) was a collaboration between WPF and Global Rights Compliance.


Book (2022)

Accountability for Mass Starvation: Testing the Limits of the Law, eds. Bridget Conley, Alex de Waal, Catriona Murdoch, and Wayne Jordash (Oxford University Press 2022).

Research Roundtable (2021)

Published by Opinio Juris, “Pandemic of Hunger Symposium” (2021) includes essays by program-affiliated researchers.

Journal Article (2019)

“The Purposes of Starvation: Historical and Contemporary Uses” by Bridget Conley and Alex de Waal” published by the Journal of International Criminal Justice, in a special issue of Starvation and International Law (17:4, 2019).

Policy Briefs (2019)

Accountability for Starvation Crimes: Yemen

September 2019

Sama’a al-Hamdani, Alex de Waal and Global Rights Compliance, (World Peace Foundation and Global Rights Compliance)

Accountability for Starvation Crimes: Syria

June 2019

Mohammad Kanfash and Ali al-Jasem (Damaan Humanitarian Organization

Accountability for Starvation: South Sudan

June 2019

Tong Deng Anei, Alex de Waal and Bridget Conley (World Peace Foundation)

Research Papers (2018- 2019)

More information is available on the project website: