1. Statement
  2. Peacebuilding

Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act Summary

By Allyson Neville, Theo Sitther, October 30, 2015

Senator Ben Cardin, joined by Senator Thom Tillis and several others, introduced the Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Act to authorize a permanent, inter-agency Atrocities Prevention Board that mobilizes the U.S. government at the highest levels to focus on early prevention of violent conflict.

1. Permanently authorize the Atrocities Prevention Board–

  • The Atrocities Prevention Board is a high-level working group that coordinates U.S. government action to prevent and respond to genocide and mass atrocities.
  • Members of the Atrocities Prevention Board (APB) include: the Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Defense, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Department of Justice, Department of Treasury, Department of Homeland Security, Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  • Require a report evaluating U.S. government efforts related to prevention, a global assessment of risks, and recommendations for strengthening preventative efforts.

2. Authorize funding for atrocities prevention through the Complex Crises Fund–

  • The Complex Crises Fund provides much needed flexible funding to USAID to prevent, mitigate, and respond to emerging or unforeseen crises and conflict.
  • Money has been appropriated to the account since 2010, but the account has yet to be authorized.

3. Provide training to Foreign Service Officers–

  • The legislation would mandate training of U.S. Foreign Service Officers in conflict and atrocities prevention.
  • This training would ensure that personnel at U.S. diplomatic posts will have the skills to recognize early warning signs of potential conflict or outbreak of mass violence, and they will be aware of the tools available to mitigate violence.

4. Require a report to Congress by the Director of National Intelligence–

  • The annual report by the Director of National Intelligence to Congress will include a review of countries that are at risk of mass atrocities and genocide.

Allyson Neville

  • Legislative Manager for the Prevention of Violent Conflict

Allyson Neville coordinates the Prevention and Protection Working Group (PPWG), a coalition of human rights, religious, humanitarian and peace organizations dedicated to the reduction of violent conflict, prevention of atrocities, and protection of civilians. Since its creation in late 2008, PPWG has successfully advocated on these issues through outreach to Congress and various administrative agencies.

Theo Sitther

  • Consultant, Advocacy Teams Trainer

As an Advocacy Team Trainer, Theo provides teams with extra support to be strong communities and advocates.