Using History in Genocide Prevention


Yazidi minority in Iraq and Syria
The Islamic State committed genocide against the Yazidi minority in Iraq and Syria. Photo by Magali Girardin/European Pressphoto Agency.

History and the examination of root causes of conflict are a critical long-term line of defense against genocide and other identity based crimes of atrocities. The goal of this project is to enable practitioners and students of genocide prevention to develop projects that engage the past as a means to preventing genocide. Such projects enable practitioners to re-examine the history and root causes of mass violence in their societies, to bridge the conflicting memories of this violence, and to begin the work of de-escalating tensions that often lead to renewed violence and potential future genocide.

Want to become involved? If you know of projects or work that fit the above description, please add them to our digital visualization initiative - the Mapping Historical Dialogue Project.

Present Past

Time, Memory, and the Negotiation of Historical Justice

December 7-9, 2017
Columbia University, New York City

Every December, the Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network holds a multi-day conference that brings together scholars and practitioners who work in the field of historical dialogue. The 2017 conference will give special consideration to the topic of genocide prevention, with several panel sessions dedicated to addressing the uses of history in genocide prevention with a focus on the identity of the stakeholders, their animosity towards each other, and other root causes of conflict.

Click here for the conference schedule of the Genocide Prevention programming.

To register, click here.




The International Conference on Protection and Accountability in Burma

ISHR Co-Sponsored Event

February 8-9, 2019
Against the backdrop of the completely stalled efforts at repatriating Rohingyas from Bangladesh to their country of origin, Myanmar, which the UN Fact Finding Mission officially recognized as a member state with an 'ongoing issue of genocide', the conference is designed to call the world’s attention to, and educate the international public at large about, the twofold need of protection and accountability which Rohingya genocide survivors and other ethnic and religious minorities such as Kachin, Shan, Karen, Myanmar Muslims, etc. demand and deserve. To that end, the conference brings together leading Rohingya campaigners, renowned genocide scholars, engaged international law practitioners, UN officials, and international friends of Rohingyas.
Link to recording of the program.


This project has been made possible through a generous grant from an Anonymous Family Foundation.