From April until July 1994, within a period of about 100 days, approximately 800,000 human beings were murdered in the Rwandan Genocide (Beardsley, 2005). In the case of Bosnia, the Bosnian Serb forces targeted for extinction 40,000 Bosnian Muslims living in Srebrenica, a group which was emblematic of the Bosnian Muslims in general. They deliberately and methodically killed them solely on the basis of their identity, fully aware when they embarked on this genocidal venture that the harm they caused would continue to plague the Bosnian Muslims (Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstic, 2004). Meanwhile, estimates for Darfuri Africans killed since February 2003, range from 180,000 to 400,000. Over 2.5 million have been displaced and remain at mortal risk today, facing continued violence, malnutrition and disease ('NCC and NGO's,' 2005).
According to Gen. According to Gen. Romo A Dallaire, author of the book Shake Hands with the Devil: The Failure of Humanity in Rwanda, after six weeks of genocide, after an enormous amount of going to and fro the halls of the UN and in certain national capitals, and certainly a lot of screaming from some of them in the field, finally he was told about Rwanda that: 1) the big countries have decided that it is a genocide and that there is no debate on that; 2) but the plan calling for about 5,500 troops to stop the genocide was still under debate (Dallaire, Myers & Wallin, 2005). Dallaire continued -
Finally authorization was granted to send the 5,500 troops. But not one developed country bought into it. Not one white country was prepared to send their troops, even with that mandate. Ultimately, the first to arrive were the Ethiopians, then followed by Canada, Australia, the U.K., and the Americans. But the Ethiopians hit the ground nearly two months later in July, when the war and slaughter had been over for nearly a month.
From records, however, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have invariably contributed their fair share in this social responsibility. Some of these ways are illustrated in a few cases that follow.
Human rights movements, NGOs
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as Human Rights Watch and Doctors without Borders are extremely active at the international level in the areas of human rights, war crimes, and humanitarian aid. NGOs allow for collaborations between local and global efforts for human rights by "translating complex international issues into activities to be undertaken by concerned citizens in their own community" (Durham 2004). The functions of international NGOs include investigating complaints, advocacy with governments and international governmental organizations, and policy making. Local activities including fundraising, lobbying, and general education (Durham 2004).
Although they do not have the authority to implement or enforce international law, NGOs have several advantages to state organizations in the human rights system. Much of their work includes information processing and fact finding wherein NGOs educate people about their human rights and gather information regarding human rights abuses in violating countries (Claude & Weston, 1992; Durham 2004). In this process NGOs have the benefit of access to local people and organizations and are often able to get direct and indirect access to critical