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Strengthening GAAMAC's regional initiatives in 2020

21 Jan 2021 10:52

GAAMAC’s three Regional Initiatives remained very active in 2020. The regional working groups which emerged organically during past GAAMAC global meetings are composed of state and civil society actors living in Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas who work together to concretely address the challenges posed in their specific contexts. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Regional initiatives moved forward virtually to implement their activities.

The Asia Pacific Study Group continued to work on its upcoming report on “Preventing Hate Speech, Incitement, and Discrimination: Lessons on Promoting Tolerance and Respect for Diversity Hate Speech in the Asia Pacific”. In the first phase, the initiative focused on three case studies: the Rohingya population in Myanmar, ethnic minorities in India, and the Bangsamoro population in the Philippines. Currently in its second phase, the group is undertaking data collection and analysis of three additional case studies: religious minorities in India, Pakistan and Indonesia, and a case study on hate-speech in relation to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Asia Pacific Study Group convened for a strategic workshop on 29 January 2020 and organized an online workshop on 27 October to share preliminary findings of the studies in India, Indonesia and Pakistan. The group will finalize the study in 2021 and organize virtual consultations with state, academia and civil society actors.  

Formed during GAAMAC II in Manila, the Africa Working Group expanded and met on a regular basis in 2020. The group welcomed five new members, including four francophones experts, and met virtually four times. Under the leadership of Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, members worked on strengthening internal working mechanisms and outline new activities in line with the aim to support the promotion of national atrocity prevention architectures and policies in Africa.  

In 2020, the Africa initiative worked on a Training Toolkit based on the Manual on Best Practices for the Establishment and Management of National Mechanisms for Genocide and Mass Atrocities Prevention and an empirical research on hate speech with case studies in Cameroun, Nigeria and South Sudan. The reports will be published in 2021.

The Americas Group is GAAMAC’s most recent regional initiative and emerged during GAAMAC III. Led by GAAMAC partner Impunity Watch, the initiative started elaborating in 2020 a policy brief on “A Gender Lens for the Prevention of Mass Atrocities” looking at case studies in Colombia and Guatemala. The Policy proposal seeks to contribute to the understanding of the prevention of conflict-related sexual and gender-based crimes and to establish general guidelines for the design and implementation of prevention measures in post-conflict countries through research. The final report will be presented during GAAMAC IV in 2021.

If you are a representative of a state or civil society organization working in atrocity prevention in Africa, the Asia Pacific or the Americas and would be interested to join one of the working groups, please get in touch with contact@gaamac.org