Sending Office: Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
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Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Hearing

Mass Atrocities Prevention I

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon
2255 House Office Building

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on United States policy in relation to the prevention of mass atrocities around the world. 

“Mass atrocities” are defined as large-scale, deliberate attacks against civilians, and include genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Following the Holocaust, the United States and the international community vowed to “never again” stand by in
the face of genocide and mass atrocities. But since then mass atrocities, including genocide, have been committed in Indonesia, Cambodia, Guatemala, East Timor, the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan and Syria, among other places. Hundreds of thousands
of people have been killed, tortured, or suffered sexual violence; and millions more have been forced to flee, generating profound humanitarian, political, and national security consequences.  

Beginning with the 2006 National Security Strategy presented by President George W. Bush, the U.S. government has explicitly prioritized the prevention of genocide and other mass atrocities. In 2008, the bipartisan Genocide Prevention Task Force laid out
a prevention blueprint for U.S. policymakers, and in 2011, President Obama established the Atrocities Prevention Board, which continues under President Trump’s administration. The United States has been a leader in marshaling the international community and
fashioning tools, policies, and programs to prevent and address mass atrocities. Nevertheless, as the recent atrocities committed against the Rohingya in Burma have once again made clear, more is needed.

This hearing, the first of a planned series, will elaborate on the concept of mass atrocities, discuss the difference between prevention and response, and examine the relationship between the prevention of atrocities and U.S. national interests. Witnesses
also will identify current situations of concern around the world.

Panel I

  • Father Thomas J. Reese, S.J., Commissioner, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom  

Panel II

  • Naomi Kikoler, Deputy Director, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Charles J. Brown, Managing Director, Strategy for Humanity  
  • Richard Fontaine, President, Center for a New American Security

This hearing will be open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. The hearing will be livestreamed via the Commission website,, and will also be available for viewing on the House Digital Channel service. For any questions, please contact Kimberly Stanton at 202-225-3599
or (for Mr. McGovern) or Jamie Staley at 202-226-1516 or (for Mr. Hultgren).



James P. McGovern, M.C.                  Randy Hultgren, M.C.
Co-Chair, TLHRC                              Co-Chair, TLHRC

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, Foreign Affairs

Related Event Information

Event Location: 2255 Rayburn House Office Building
Event Start: 2/6/2018 10:30:00 AM
Event End: 2/6/2018 12:00:00 PM

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