The International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (ICRtoP) is a global network of civil society organizations dedicated to advancing the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP or R2P). ICRtoP is working to increase awareness and understanding of the RtoP norm, strengthen relevant actors’ capacity to prevent and respond to RtoP crimes, and advance the development of the norm to ensure that it is upheld consistently and effectively for future generations. ICRtoP maintains the most comprehensive resource of information on RtoP for a range of actors, facilitates engagement with global policymakers, and amplifies the voice of civil society on current or potential mass atrocities.
RtoP is a commitment made by all governments at the United Nations (UN) in 2005 to prevent and halt genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing. This landmark agreement to act in the face of these horrific crimes is meant to prevent governments from claiming sovereignty as a shield to conduct or ignore massacres of their own populations. For the first time, states acknowledged that these four crimes – no matter the location, perpetrator or circumstances – require action.
RtoP offers a comprehensive framework for implementing the atrocities prevention agenda, emphasizing a full spectrum of tools from diplomatic, legal, economic, humanitarian and non-coercive military measures. First and foremost the responsibility falls on national governments, but the international community must assist and act to protect these populations where necessary. The use of force can only be undertaken collectively, with Security Council authorization and in accordance with the UN Charter, if other means are inadequate.
Following the Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, which articulated a vision of RtoP in their 2001 report, the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) established the first civil society project on RtoP called R2P-Engaging Civil Society (R2PCS). This loose network of NGOs worked to ensure the inclusion of RtoP in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, engaged with governments to advocate and increase support for RtoP, and built awareness amongst civil society organizations about the emerging new norm.
Since its launch in 2009, ICRtoP has developed into a truly global civil society movement, which now includes NGOs from every region of the world. Members work in a range of sectors, including human rights, conflict prevention, international justice, humanitarian service delivery, women’s rights, peacebuilding, and disarmament. These groups undertake a vast array of activities, working within their respective fields and with their constituencies, to advance RtoP. The Coalition has continued to leverage and maximize the impact of civil society around the globe by sharing information, expertise, resources, experiences, and strategies – and thereby ensuring effective adoption and endorsement of the norm in all areas of the world through a broad global partnership. ICRtoP amplifies the voices of these organizations as they call on the international community to strengthen their capacities to prevent and halt genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing.
ICRtoP is guided by a Steering Committee composed of international and regional organizations serving populations across the globe.
Please visit the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect website to learn more about this program.