Responsibility to Protect
Since 2005, states have internationally recognised the principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Individual states are primarily responsible for protecting their populations from atrocity crimes and to assist each other to that end. If a state fails to do so, the international community will respond, if necessary through coercive action.
R2P has been applied on the African continent with mixed results. In 2001 the African Union’s Constitutive Act changed its predecessor’s principle of “non-interference” to that of “non-indifference”. However, the ongoing crimes committed against civilian populations in many African countries demonstrate the limited translation into practice of R2P and the AU’s principle of non-indifference.
IRRI works to ensure the principle of R2P is better applied in practice through our research and advocacy and as Steering Group members of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect which brings together NGOs from around the world to strengthen normative consensus for RtoP, further the understanding of the norm, push for strengthened capacities to prevent and halt genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.