chapter  11
Preventing Human Rights Abuses Through International Justice
Pages 14

Successful conflict prevention strategies rest on three orientations, derived from a public health model that has saved countless lives. These orientations are (1) trained vigilance to detect and identify early signs of impending danger, (2) a comprehensive array of prepared and tested options to counteract it at its earliest stages of growth, and (3) the use of long-term, broad-based collaborative efforts to resolve its underlying causes. Prevention of deadly conflict starts with the recognition of the immense potential for danger of egregious, pervasive human rights violations, a common precursor of mass violence in various forms. Prevention is not simply smoothing over rough spots in intergroup or international relations-it requires creating a durable basis for peaceful conditions of living together.1 Governments that abuse the rights of their own citizens are not likely to respect the rights of their weaker neighbors. In the long run, human rights abuses and the atrocities that typically follow them must be eliminated by promoting democracy, equitable market economies, and the strong civil institutions that protect human rights.