Over the last 16 years, the question of how to operationalize the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), bringing it “from theory to practice,” has been the focus of great debate among UN member states and human rights organizations. Created as a response to the devastating genocide in Rwanda, the international community has struggled to find a way to enforce this non-binding principle aimed at helping states to prevent and respond to mass atrocities around the world.
Yet, the question remains, how do you make states act for the benefit of those outside their own borders without the force of international law? How do you convince states to stand up for those who need their help, even when the situation is complicated, difficult, and not necessarily directly beneficial to their own people?
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