Fortunately, effective early warning means that civil society groups can play a strong role in preventing genocide without government support, if necessary. This is where the Sentinel Project has a role to play. By building a comprehensive understanding of the factors which make genocide likely in a given country, monitoring the operational processes underway, and identifying the key actors, we can devise preventive measures most likely to stop the genocidal process. Of course, genocide prevention is a complex and difficult task and we cannot do this independently so we will always consult with experts, other NGOs, and threatened communities themselves before taking action.
There are many examples of preventive measures and the best options will always depend on a specific situation. However, that does not mean that we need to completely start over with each new situation of concern (SOC). Instead, our goal is to build a “preventive toolbox” of general measures that can be customized for a variety of situations. Here are a few examples:
Many genocidal regimes in the past have been very cautious and sensitive to both public and foreign pressure while they were still in the process of planning and preparing to exterminate their victims. Therefore, carefully organized protests either within an at-risk country or abroad could discourage a government from continuing to pursue its genocidal goals.
Gathering information on leaders who appear intent on committing genocide and initiating legal proceedings may discourage their actions.
Identifying and countering websites that incite hatred could hinder the process that radicalizes people against other groups.
These are just a few examples but the options for preventive measures are only limited by the creativity and motivation of the people who resist genocide.
Partnering with communities and individuals in order to obtain the most direct input on programming and assuring that those at greatest risk receive immediate assistance.