Why is genocide still happening, and what can we do to stop it? – ‘Human Writes’ essay competition

Posted on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

Every year René Cassin runs a ‘Human Writes’ essay competition to get people thinking about important and topical human rights issues.

This year’s title

The UN’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide recently said: ‘The often quoted sentiment of “never again” has become “time and again”’. Why is genocide still happening, and what can we do to stop it?

Background information

On 9 December 1948, UN member states approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. The Convention was the first human rights treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly, and was born out of the fervent desire to ensure that “never again” would people face the horror of genocide, such as inflicted by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

This year’s judge

We are delighted that Lord (Danny) Finkelstein will judge this year’s entries. Lord Finkelstein is associate editor of The Times and a member of the House of Lords. He will be looking for well researched, well argued and well written essays.

Prize

  • £100
  • Publication on the René Cassin website (along with other shortlisted entries)
  • Copy of East West Street – Philippe Sands‘ acclaimed account of the Jewish legal minds who sowed the seeds for human rights law at the Nuremberg trials.

Eligibility

The René Cassin ‘Human Writes’ essay competition is open to all. The age of the applicant will be considered.

Deadline

Monday 9 November, 12 noon. Winners announced on 9 December (72nd anniversary of the UN Genocide Convention)

Enquiries

Please email us at info@renecassin.org if you have any queries about this competition.

Guidelines for Submissions

All entries must address the topic of this year’s competition and be 1000-1500 words (excluding footnotes or bibliography).

Please prepare your entry in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • This year’s essay title is:

    The UN’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide recently said: ‘The often quoted sentiment of “never again” has become “time and again”’. Why is genocide still happening, and what can we do to stop it?

  • Entries must be typed and in English
  • Please provide a cover page giving:
    • Your full name
    • Your age
    • Postal address, email and daytime telephone contact number
    • The word count for your entry
  • Do not put your name in the text of the entry
  • Please provide a bibliography
  • Please use:
    • A4/standard letter paper
    • Double line spacing
    • Arial 12 point for the text
  • We do not have a preference for any particular referencing style, as long as it remains consistent throughout the essay
  • Please make sure that your final copy can easily be opened as a Word document and does not have any restrictions placed on it in terms of access

The essays will be judged by journalist and politician Lord (Danny) Finkelstein. He will be looking for well researched, well argued and well written essays.

Deadline for entries: Monday 9 November, 12 noon.

Please email info@renecassin.org with your submissions and any other questions you may have.

Good luck!