Seminar-Workshop on Atrocity Prevention related to the Migration Crisis in Ecuador

On November 26-27, the Auschwitz Institute and the Office of the Ombudsperson of Ecuador co-organized a seminar-workshop entitled “The Prevention of Mass Atrocities in the Context of the Current Migration Crisis in Ecuador,” with support from the German Federal Foreign Office through the Zivik Funding Program operated by the IFA (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen). The activity took place in the city of Quito and was attended by 27 representatives of the Ombudsman’s Office and its regional delegations.

The seminar-workshop was guided by 3 primary objectives: (i) Familiarizing participants with the processes that lead to genocide and other mass atrocities, as well as their relationship to mass migration; (ii) Equipping them with the practical and theoretical knowledge to identify risk factors for genocide and other mass atrocities throughout the migratory process, especially in relation to the Venezuelan migratory crisis; and (iii) Strengthening the capacities of the Ecuadorian Office of the Ombudsperson for the protection of Venezuelan migrants in an atrocity prevention context , nurture the development of educational and communications tools on human rights, the fight against discrimination, and the prevention of atrocities in migratory crises.

Tatiana Ordeñana, General Director of Education and Research of the Ombudsperson Office of Ecuador, and Eugenia Carbone, Director of the Auschwitz Institute’s Latin America Program, led the seminar-workshop’s opening ceremony.  Over the course of the first day, attendees participated in modules on the concepts of genocide and mass atrocities, as well as an analysis of mass atrocity risk factors within the framework of the migration crisis. In the afternoon, representatives of Ecuadorian and Argentine academia presented a migration map of Ecuador, which was accompanied by segments on tools for the development of early warning and risk assessment systems, respectively.

During the second day, the participants analyzed regional, national and international responses to the migration crisis, as well as the perspectives and challenges of the Office of the Ombudsperson on this topic. The event then culminated in a workshop during which time participants contributed perspectives and initiatives on education in human rights, human migration, and prevention to research work being done by the Auschwitz Institute and the Office of the Ombudsperson. The seminar-workshop then closed with the celebration of a signing of an memorandum of understanding between the two organizations in order to strengthen their working relationship on training and research, which included a cocktail reception for seminar-workshop participants, public officials, representatives of international organizations, and members of the Ecuadorian diplomatic corps.