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The Genocide Intervention Network (or GI-NET) is a non-profit organization that "envisions a world in which the global community is willing and able to protect civilians from genocide and mass atrocities. Its current mission is to empower individuals and communities with the tools to prevent and stop genocide." Currently GI-NET focuses most of its efforts on the genocide in Darfur, Sudanmarker.[129228] Formerly, the Genocide Intervention Network was known as the Genocide Intervention Fund; it changed its name in September 2005.

History

The Genocide Intervention Network was founded in October 2004 in the United Statesmarker, by then–Swarthmore Collegemarker students Mark Hanis and Andrew Sniderman, soon joined by Rwandanmarker native Stephanie Nyombayire. As students of international politics and peace and conflict studies, they were convinced that the time had come for a more systematic response to the recurring problem of genocide — a response which could promote and support widespread government and citizen action to protect civilians from violence.GI-NET was formed in order to empower citizens with the tools to advance initiatives able to directly protect civilians from genocidal violence and stop genocide. Although their focus was on direct forms of civilian protection explicitly, they realized the need to educate the public about the numerous possibilities for acting against genocide. In collaboration with other students and alumni of Swarthmore College, GI-NET began developing a website that would eventually host a broad variety of information about the most responsible means of preventing, responding to, and ending genocidal violence along with links to significant organizations whose missions focus on these aspects of genocidal crises.

In November 2004, GI-NET gained the dedicated support of Gayle Smith, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, who traveled to Addis Ababamarker, Ethiopiamarker, to initiate conversations with the African Union. Subsequent outreach efforts allowed GI-NET to develop relationships with necessary supporters in the worlds of policy, education, and media.

With widespread support from their advisers, endorsers[129229] and a determined volunteer staff of students and alumni of Swarthmore College, the GI-NET was incorporated in February 2005, as the Genocide Intervention Fund, working under the fiscal sponsorship of the Center for American Progress.

By April 2005, GI-NET’s support base had grown substantially. The Genocide Intervention Network was publicly launched on 6 April as over 300 students and professionals from around the country joined in a lobby day that would mark the beginning of GI-NET’s "100 Days of Action Campaign", held in honor of the 100-day Rwandan genocide of 1994.

By the end of the summer GI-NET had raised over $250,000 for its efforts to support civilian protection while increasing their network of supporters, advisers, and concerned citizens.

During reflection and strategy sessions at the end of the summer in 2005, GI-NET chose to more explicitly systematize its efforts to engage and empower citizens. In response to this need GI-NET developed a membership and chapter program[129230] that will allows GI-NET to provide increased support for an expanding membership base while enabling members to be in contact for collaborative efforts. It received widespread notice in October after New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof lauded the organization in a column.[129231]

GI-NET currently has a permanent staff of five full-time employees,[129232]. It has three official "representatives," Stephanie Nyombayire, Ronan Farrow and Bec Hamilton.

It is headquartered in Washington, DCmarker, at 1333 H Street NW.

Campaigns

The work of GI-NET primarily falls within three categories: education[129233], advocacy[129234] and fundraising for civilian protection. Their pilot program is to support the African Union peacekeepers in Darfur[129235].

Education

The Genocide Intervention Network provides weekly summaries known as Darfur News Briefs[129236] of all mainstream and independent press about the situation in Darfur, as well as third-party reports and analysis from humanitarian organizations. GI-NET also archives relevant reports[129237] on its own site, as well as conducting its own research.

In the best-known instance of this, a report[129238] issued by the Genocide Intervention Network and the American Progress Action Fund showed that U.S. television networks "ran 50 times as many stories about Michael Jackson and 12 times as many stories about Tom Cruise as they did about the genocide in Darfur." A subsequent GI-NET report[129239] demonstrated that, when informed of the situation in Darfur, U.S. citizens were in favor of the U.S. government taking action.

On 30 April 2006, the Genocide Intervention Network co-sponsored the Rally to Stop Genocide in Washington, D.C.marker, with the Save Darfur Coalition and other organizations. The rally was led by prominent human rights activists like George Clooney, faith leaders, political figures such as then Senator , and Current President of the United States Barack Obama (D-IL), as well as Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and Rwandan Paul Rusesabagina, whose story was the inspiration for the film Hotel Rwanda. It was part of the Million Voices for Darfur campaign, in which concerned citizens sent one million postcards to President Bush urging him to do more to stop the genocide and protect the people of Darfur.

Advocacy

In August 2006, GI-NET published a congressional scorecard rating each member of Congress on legislative action relating to Darfur.[129240]

The Genocide Intervention Network issues regular "action alerts"[129241] that center on U.S. legislation relating to the Darfur genocide and the African Union peacekeeping force (AMIS II). It often partners with other non-profits working in Darfur-related areas, such as the Save Darfur Coalition, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Africa Action, Students Taking Action Now: Darfur and Oxfam.

Its best-known campaign is "Genocide Hits Home,"[129242] which pressures U.S. lawmakers to pass legislation in support of U.S. action in Darfur while they are in their home districts during Congressional recesses. It is also active in the Sudan divestment movement.

In July 2006, it criticized the termination of US funds to AU peacekeepers in Darfur by Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer, encouraging its members to fax Frazer and tell her to reconsider.[129243] Frazer had said that the United States will give no further funds because it expects a transition to a UN peacekeeping mission by 1 October 2006. Yet as of July 2006, the UN has yet to pass a resolution in support of the peacekeeping mission and Sudan continues to refuse to admit UN troops into Darfur.

GI-NET additionally releases regularly-updated "action kits."[129244]

Fundraising

While the Genocide Intervention Network does conduct fundraising on its own behalf,[129245] its primary activity in this regard is raising money to directly support African Union peacekeepers in Darfur. In addition to soliciting money from individual donors, it regularly encourages its membership to hold their own fundraising events, such as "Dinners for Darfur."[129246]

Principles

The GI-NET does not make legal determinations of genocide; members have argued that recognition and response to the threat of genocide must take precedence over legal debates.

The GI-NET operates within the framework of the "Responsibility to Protect" report, produced by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty in 2001. The Commission concluded that "sovereign states have a responsibility to protect their own citizens from avoidable catastrophe ... but that when they are unwilling or unable to do so, that responsibility must be borne by the broader community of states."[129247]

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1574[129248] strongly endorses AMIS II, whose mandate includes directives to monitor a tenuous ceasefire, oversee the safe return of internally displaced persons, secure the delivery of humanitarian aid, and protect civilians "under imminent threat and in the immediate vicinity."

As of 2006, formal terms of agreement between GI-NET and the African Union are in the process of being drafted, principally by GI-NET advisory board chair Gayle Smith. Funds raised by the Network are not used to purchase lethal equipment.

Endorsers

A complete list of endorsers is available[129249], but some of GI-NET's notable supporters include:

See also



External links




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