Over the course of the twentieth century, one of the most dramatic changes to the concept of peace was the idea that it must include the experiences of civilian populations, not just interstate relations. One outcome of this shift was the development of a civilian protection paradigm, that has both made significant contributions and been sorely tested. A key challenge today is applying a critical lens to the politics and activism around protection policies, with the goal of invigorating new approaches.

Tracking Covid 19 in Detention

Places where people cannot enact social distancing are reporting significantly higher rates of Covid-19 infection than among the general public. One of the contexts where people are at elevated risk is detention. Nowhere is the problem more acute than in American prisons and jails.

Children and Youth Staying Safe in Conflict

Dyan Mazurana’s WPF funded project, `We Have Hope’: Resilience Among Violence Affected Youth, draws on her more than two decades of working with children and youth in conflict-affected areas. She invites readers to slip behind the statistics that often dominate our understanding of ‘children in conflict,’ and to hear what these young people have to say.

Mass Starvation Research

Mass starvation today results from political and military leaders’ policy decisions: starvation intentionally inflicted upon entire civilian populations. The key challenge for ending mass starvation is to render such policies and the leaders who choose to deploy them morally toxic. Could international criminal law be harnessed towards this overall goal?

Mass Atrocities Research

Mass atrocities, defined as widespread and systematic violence against civilians, are a focus of the WPF’s research agenda for two reasons. In and of themselves, atrocities are a form of war against unarmed people. And, secondarily, long after violence ends, memory of brutality can provide fuel for future conflicts. The WPF program marries principled rejection of violence against civilians with critical analysis of response mechanisms. It focuses on two key areas: how mass atrocities end and how they are memorialized.

Past projects

Remembering the Ones We Lost: Support for South Sudanese efforts to document the names of people who died in conflicts since 1955. The project, Remembering the Ones We Lost was spearheaded by an independent group of South Sudanese civil society actors, and WPF issued them a grant to create a website that also serves as their informational infrastructure.

The Memory of Genocide and its Consequences in Cyangugu (Rwanda): This project was supported by the WPF and undertaken by RwaBaho Platform, The Center for Interdisciplinary Research: Democracy, Institutions, Subjectivity (CRIDIS), at the Catholic University of Louvain Belgium, as they aimed to create and implement an online archive of testimonies of the 1994 genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda and its consequences in Cyangugu. The project aimed to contribute to knowledge and understanding with a detailed record of the atrocities in Cyangugu, and evidence of the consequences for the local community. 

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