With countless domestic and international policy issues being debated on Capitol Hill at any given moment, it can be difficult for bills pertaining to human rights and atrocity prevention to make much headway, much less be signed into law. Constituent advocacy is a key component to ensuring these critical issues are addressed and have the political support to move forward. Participants in Enough’s Lemkin Summit to End Genocide and Mass Atrocities have built a strong track record of constructively engaging with their representatives and advocating for legislation that is ultimately passed, including the Global Magnitsky Act and the Eliminate, Neutralize and Disrupt Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016. Recently added to this list is the Elie Wiesel Genocide and Prevention Act (GAPA), which was signed into law by President Trump on January 14, 2019. In previous years, Lemkin Summit participants led hundreds of constituent meetings on the Summit’s lobby days during which they advocated for the passage of GAPA.
The law includes a statement of policy that the United States should “regard the prevention of atrocities as in its national interest;” and should be “promoting financial transparency and enhancing anti-corruption initiatives as part of addressing causes of conditions that may lead to atrocities,” among other provisions. It also requires specialized training of foreign service officers and reporting to Congress.