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Human Protection: Strategic Opportunities in a Challenging Political Environment

Charles J. Brown
June 2017

Insights from the Stanley Foundation’s Policy Lab on Human Protection

There is unprecedented recognition that effective collective action can help prevent, slow, or stop mass violence and atrocities. At the same time, however, outbreaks of mass violence and atrocities in places like Syria have shown that preventing such incidents remains a major global challenge.

In this context, the Stanley Foundation launched a strategy development process in early 2017 for its human protection policy programming that included a commissioned, interview-based assessment and convening a diverse group of experts for a two-day policy lab. This process identified strategic opportunities for action that could sustain, and in some cases advance, the cause of human protection.

Among these are a renewed focus on early prevention; support of regional, subregional, and cross-regional initiatives; empowerment of local civil society organizations; strengthening the UN’s capacity for proximate prevention; an increased demand for transitional justice and accountability; and adoption of a more rights-centric approach to countering violent extremism.
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