The Global Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention is one of the main pillars of the Auschwitz Institute’s work. Operating continuously since 2008, the program is named after Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959), a Polish Jewish lawyer who coined the term genocide - from the Greek genos (“family,” “tribe,” “race”) and the Latin cide (“killing”). Lemkin spearheaded the successful campaign in the United Nations for the ratification of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948.
Through the Seminar, AIPG is creating a community of government officials and human rights practitioners who are educated in the latest genocide prevention policy strategies and who support each other in identifying best practices for dealing with the process of genocide and other atrocity crimes.
Organized in partnership with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, and supported regularly by the United Nation’s Joint Office of the Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect, each week-long program brings together twenty to twenty-five government officials and experts from at least fifteen countries ranging from at-risk, in crisis, and post-conflict states, to donor countries and those inactive in the international human rights arena. The Seminar welcomes participants who have professional responsibilities in relevant areas, including atrocity prevention, human rights, international criminal justice, among others.
The location of the Global Raphael Lemkin Seminar at the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oświęcim, Poland, allows participants to immerse themselves, both emotionally and intellectually, in the topic of genocide. Through the “power of place,” AIPG provides participants with the opportunity to make a personal investment in the material, resulting in an authentic and lasting commitment to the field of genocide prevention. The Auschwitz Institute has learned from previous experience that this emotional connection is essential to maintaining the participants’ level of motivation long after they have returned home.
Following the Seminar, participants become members of the 2PREVENT community, AIPG’s growing network of alumni from countries around the globe. Through continuous engagement with its alumni community, AIPG offers ongoing capacity building programs for their institutions towards atrocity prevention policy development at the regional and national levels.
See below the agendas of the previous Global Raphael Lemkin Seminars, including the lists of participants and instructors for each edition.
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