"Rescues for humanity": Rescuers, mass atrocities, and transitional justice

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14 Scopus citations


This article is probably the first work to explore systematically the commemoration of rescuers from a human rights and transitional justice perspective. It argues that the documentation and commemoration of acts of rescuers during mass atrocities should become an integral part of the human rights response to such atrocities. These undertakings could make important contributions to the goals of post-conflict reconstruction, especially in relation to conflict-transformation between communities, and to confronting the role of passive bystanders. The article first develops the concept of "rescues for humanity" to elucidate the significance of rescues in the transitional justice framework and,after reviewing existing initiatives, it moves on to identify the potential benefits of such undertakings, as well as the challenges and risks involved in the documentation of rescues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalHuman Rights Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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