Is the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ Doctrine Still Relevant?

The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once

Is the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ Doctrine Still Relevant?

Tehmina Habib


The rise of humanitarianism and the international community is the product of the long festering Cold War. In the 1990s, the global political landscape was overwhelmed with the idea that human beings matter more as compared to state sovereignty and this notion became the foundation of ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P) doctrine. The R2P aims to promote international action against crime against humanity, genocide, ethnic cleansing and war crimes. Its core philosophy encompasses the idea that sovereign states have the responsibility to protect people from violence leading to genocide, infringement of human rights and mass atrocities beyond the borders, anywhere in the world. Inadvertently, the twenty-first century witnessed a rise in foreign meddling in domestic affairs of weak and underdeveloped countries. Moreover, the international community and flag-bearers of humanitarianism failed to respond in cases of Kashmir, Libya, Syria and Rohingya genocide, which puts a question mark on the aims of R2P, and exposes the hidden paradox that has generated a heated debated on the use of controversial R2P doctrine. This article will focus on the relevance and credibility of the R2P doctrine since its adoption.

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