The United States is stepping up efforts to prevent and stop atrocities around the world.
“At our best, the United States helps bring peace and stability to places where people are suffering,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said July 12, announcing the release of the 2021 Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act report. “Our work on preventing atrocities represents our highest ideals in action.”
The 2021 report details atrocities in countries around the world and describes U.S. efforts to stop them. Working with international partners, the United States sanctions those who commit atrocities, imposes export controls to deter human rights violations and sends lifesaving aid to support rights defenders in danger from repressive regimes.
Since Congress passed the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act in 2018, the U.S. has trained thousands of diplomatic, development and defense professionals to prevent atrocities. It has also developed new tools, such as use of satellite imagery to provide early warnings of violence.
The 2018 law requiring the U.S. government to prevent and mitigate atrocities is named for author Elie Wiesel, who chronicled his experiences in Nazi concentration camps.
The report details atrocities occurring in countries, including:
- The Burmese military’s killing and arbitrary detention of protesters and others after its February 2021 coup.
- The People’s Republic of China’s genocide and crimes against humanity against Uyghurs and members of other predominantly Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang, including mass surveillance, mass detention and forced labor.
- The Assad regime’s war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria.
- The continued suffering of people in Tigray, in Ethiopia, because of human rights violations, abuses and atrocities.
“The Biden Administration is committed to promoting democratic values that underpin a stable international system critical to freedom, prosperity, and peace,” the report says. “This Administration will defend and protect human rights around the world, and recognizes the prevention of atrocities is a core national security interest and a core moral responsibility.”