U.S. works to prevent atrocities worldwide

Woman scooping up wheat (© Ben Curtis/AP Images)
An Ethiopian woman serves wheat to waiting families after a delivery by the Relief Society of Tigray in the town of Agula, in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, on Saturday, May 8. (© Ben Curtis/AP Images)

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.

Man with head bowed holding photos (© Burhan Ozbilici/AP Images)
A man mourns missing relatives near the People’s Republic of China’s Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, on February 9. (© Burhan Ozbilici/AP Images)

The report details atrocities occurring in countries, including:

“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.”

Man walking through rubble of destroyed hospital (© Ghaith Alsayed/AP Images)
The shelling of a hospital in Afrin, Syria, on June 13 killed at least 13 people, including two medical workers, according to the Associated Press. (© Ghaith Alsayed/AP Images)