Genocide Prevention Group (Canada)
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Prevention of Genocide and other Crimes Against Humanity (the Genocide Prevention Group) is an informal group of Parliamentarians composed of members from all parties in the Canadian House of Commons and the Canadian Senate with an interest in the prevention of genocide and similar crimes against humanity.
The group was founded in 2006 by a group of parliamentarians with Senator Roméo Dallaire as its founder. It was inspired by the success of a similar parliamentary group in the United Kingdom and grew out of the Save Darfur Coalition initiated in 2006.
The mandate of the Genocide Prevention Group is to:
- Ensure that the government of Canada galvanizes to prevent and protect civilian populations from genocide, crimes against humanity, and the incitement to such crimes in accordance with the principles of “The Responsibility to Protect (R2P)”
- Increase the flow of information and analysis to parliamentarians about genocide and other crimes against humanity;
- Promote understanding of the importance of long-term approaches to genocide prevention; and
- Engage in communication and collaboration with like-minded bodies in civil society and other Parliaments in order to:
- Exchange information about strategies for the prevention of genocide and other crimes against humanity;
- Work in conjunction with the United Nations Special Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide, the International Criminal Court, and other organizations working in the field of Genocide prevention and post conflict justice; and
- create international channels for the timely exchange of information regarding emerging crises that have a potentially genocidal component.
Membership in the Genocide Prevention Group is open to all Parliamentarians. There are currently about 53 official members of the Genocide Prevention Group, with some sixty parliamentarians who participate in events hosted by the Genocide Prevention Group.
The Executive is composed of a Chair, four Vice-Chairs, one from each of the parties represented at Parliament, and an ex officio member. The Group is currently chaired by Member of Parliament Paul Dewar and the vice-chairs are as follows: Patrick Brown, MP (Conservative); Johanne Deschamps, MP (Bloc Québécois); Megan Leslie, MP (NDP); and Borys Wrzesnewskyj, MP (Liberal). The former chair and ex officio member is the Honourable Roméo Dallaire, Senator.
Current areas of concern
The Genocide Prevention Group is currently monitoring the prevalence of sexual violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the mass atrocities in Darfur, Sudan, the prosecution of minority groups and political opposition in Sri Lanka and Iran, post-genocide justice in Rwanda and Cambodia, and genocide denial.
Due to the unofficial nature of the Genocide Prevention Group, the group does not receive Parliamentary funding. It is funded by the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies and the Genocide Prevention Group's membership fees. .