The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

Introducing STAND Committees, our newest leadership opportunity!

When STAND was founded in early 2004, Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” was released, the final episode of Friends aired on TV, and MySpace was just one year old. 15 years later, a lot has changed – both in student life, and in global human rights advocacy. Along the way, we’ve evolved as well.

In the late 2000s, STAND, originally “Students Taking Action Now: Darfur” went multi-conflict, maintaining our focus on Sudan while expanding our vision to include genocide and mass atrocities worldwide. While we believe this was the right decision, it was also impossible to predict the many emerging atrocity events that we would feel drawn to respond to in subsequent years: Sudan and South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burma, Syria, Yemen, Nigeria, Burundi, Cameroon, Venezuela, and more. The list grows ever longer, and yet our organizing model has not adapted to be able to respond adequately to each of these urgent crises.

We’ve also found that students’ time is increasingly limited by curricular and financial obligations, and that they are often looking for meaningful ways to effect change as individuals. Within our existing structure, we are limited in our capacity to meaningfully engage passionate and talented students outside of STAND chapters and our Managing Committee apparatus. In recognizing these limitations, we are piloting a new organizational structure that will provide individuals with more opportunities for direct involvement, and give STAND a greater capacity to focus on a wider range of issues.

That’s why we are inviting STAND members, alumni/ae, and mentors to take part in STAND’s new issue-based committees, which aim to educate young people on issues related to a specific issue or conflict area, center voices of affected populations, and provide spaces for movement building and political activism on each given issue. We retain our organizational focus on atrocity prevention, civilian protection, and sustainable conflict resolution, and invite all committees to learn about and advocate for these issues in addition to their committee-specific work.

Committee members are welcomed at all levels of commitment, from those able to take one action a month, to those wanting to mobilize their communities, research policy options, and creatively fundraise for STAND’s work. You can take part in as little or as much as your schedule allows! Check out what each committee will be working on this semester:






The creation of these subcommittees is a step towards strengthening our relationships with both our partners and our grassroots members, democratizing our decision-making, and growing our ability to make tangible political change. We look forward to continuing together to build the next generation of global human rights leaders!

Have questions, cool ideas, or want to get involved? Fill out this form to be connected to the committee(s) of your choosing, or be in touch with us at!

STAND Statement on the Massacre of Ruhagarika Village, Burundi

The following statement is issued by STAND’s student-led leadership teams in the United States, the United Kingdom, and France

16th May 2018

Content Warning: Graphic Depictions of Violence

STAND, The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities, strongly condemns ongoing violations of human rights in Burundi, including the attack on civilians in Ruhagarika village, Cibitoke Province.

On 11th May 2018, an “unidentified” armed group attacked the Ruhagarika village in northwestern Burundi and massacred 26 innocent civilians, among them 3 girls and 8 boys between the ages of 3 months and 1 year old, and 5 young women between the ages of 19 and 23 years old. The killers are said to have crossed the border from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to massacre the villagers.

This has occurred in the context of a violent lead-up to the referendum taking place on Thursday 17th May 2018, which, if passed, will enable President Pierre Nkurunziza to run for office until 2034, securing a potential 29-year rule. The Burundi Police have publicly announced that they will not tolerate any campaigning against the referendum, and local authorities and Imbonerakure, the youth wing of the ruling party, have carried out violence with near impunity up to this point, including 19 cases of abuse since December 2017, and orders “to beat them [the ‘no’ voters] over the head and tie them up.”

According to local reporting, some of the victims of the Ruhagarika attack were shot dead, and others were burned alive or slashed with machetes. One man’s entire family was killed, including his wife and their three children, and in another family, a father and his two children were burned alive. Ten members of another family were massacred in the attack. These barbaric killings – whoever perpetrated them – violate international law and must be severely sanctioned as crimes against humanity. Such atrocities cannot remain unpunished.  

It is the responsibility of the Government of Burundi to ensure security in its territory and protect its population. STAND calls on the governments of Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to respect the rule of law, human rights, and international humanitarian law. In addition, the Congolese government must dissociate with any foreign criminal groups on their soil, including Burundian armed groups.  

While the Government of Burundi announced the opening of an investigation into the Ruhagarika attack, any investigation must be impartial and independent, and led by an outside party. The International Criminal Court should include this massacre in their ongoing investigation into crimes against humanity committed in Burundi.

Recalling the final words of the UN Secretary-General’s remarks to the UN Security Council during the open debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict on 25th May 2017: “Preventing and ending conflict is my first priority. I call on you all to make it yours, for the sake of the millions of civilians who are suffering around the world,” we urge the Government of France, as the penholder on Burundi on the UN Security Council, to ensure that existing UN resolutions on Burundi are implemented in order to restore peace and stability in the country. STAND also urges East African Community Heads of State, the African Union Peace and Security Council, and the United Nations Security Council to take urgent action to prevent further atrocities against civilians in Burundi.

STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities, was founded in 2004 by students at Georgetown University. Since then, STAND has expanded to high school and college campuses across the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Originally an acronym for “Students Taking Action Now: Darfur,” STAND’s mission quickly expanded to ending and preventing genocide and mass atrocities wherever they may occur. Today, STAND focuses on Sudan, South Sudan, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, and Yemen, as well as on emerging atrocity issues such as those in Burundi and the Central African Republic, and on comprehensive atrocity prevention and peacebuilding policy.

For comment or for further information, please contact our country contacts, below:

Grace Fernandes, STAND US Student Co-Director,

Charlotte Massey, STAND France Student Co-Director,

Daisy Goodall, STAND UK Student Director,

Communiqué de STAND sur le Massacre de Ruhagarika au Burundi

Le communiqué suivant est émis par les équipes dirigeantes de STAND aux États-Unis, au Royaume-Uni et en France.

16 mai 2018

Contenu violent : Représentations graphiques de la violence

STAND, association étudiante se mobilisant contre le génocide et la violence de masse, condamne fermement les violations des droits humains se perpétrant actuellement au Burundi, et plus spécialement l’attaque sur la population du village de Ruhagarika, dans la province de Cibitoke.

Le 11 mai 2018, un groupe armé « non-identifié » a attaqué la localité de Ruhagarika dans le Nord du Burundi. Ce groupe armé a massacré 26 civils innocents, dont 3 filles et 8 garçons âgés d’entre 3 mois et 1 an, ainsi que 5 jeunes femmes âgées d’entre 19 et 23 ans. Ces criminels auraient franchi la frontière de la République Démocratique du Congo pour massacrer les villageois.

Cet événement prend place dans un climat de violence dans l’attente du référendum du jeudi 17 mai 2018, qui, s’il est adopté, permettra au Président Pierre Nkurunziza de se présenter aux élections jusqu’en 2034, lui garantissant un mandat potentiel de 29 ans. La police du Burundi a annoncé publiquement qu’aucune campagne à l’encontre du référendum ne sera tolérée. Les autorités locales ainsi que l’Imbonerakure, le mouvement de jeunesse du parti au pouvoir, ont porté cette violence dans une quasi-impunité jusqu’à aujourd’hui, notamment 19 cas d’abus depuis décembre 2017, et des ordres tels que : « de les frapper [ceux qui votent contr] à la tête et de les attacher. »

Selon un rapport local, certaines des victimes de l’attaque de Ruhagarika ont été abattues par balle, d’autres ont été brûlées vives ou frappées à la machette. La famille entière d’un homme fut tuée : sa femme et ses trois enfants. Dans une autre famille, le père et ses deux enfants furent brûlés vifs. Dix membres d’une autre famille furent massacrés dans l’attaque.  Ces meurtres barbares – quels qu’en soient les auteurs – violent le droit international et doivent être sévèrement sanctionnés comme crimes contre l’humanité. De telles atrocités ne peuvent pas rester impunies.

Il en va de la responsabilité du Gouvernement du Burundi d’assurer la sécurité et la protection de sa population sur le territoire. STAND appelle les gouvernements burundais et de la République Démocratique du Congo à faire respecter la loi, les droits Humains, et le droit international humanitaire. En outre, le gouvernement congolais doit se dissocier de tous les groupes criminels étrangers présents sur son sol, y compris les groupes armés burundais.

Alors que le Gouvernement du Burundi annonce l’ouverture d’une enquête sur l’attaque de Ruhagarika, il est à rappeler que toute enquête se doit d’être impartiale et indépendante, et menée par un tiers à l’affaire.  En tant que crime contre l’humanité, la Cour Pénale Internationale devrait donc prendre en charge les investigations sur ce massacre.

En rappelant les dernières paroles du Secrétaire Général des Nations Unies lors du Conseil de Sécurité du 25 mai 2017 sur la protection des civils dans les conflits armés : “Prévenir et venir à bout des conflits armés est ma première priorité. J’en appelle à vous pour faire votre possible, pour le bien des millions de civils qui souffrent dans le monde entier” nous demandons au Gouvernement français, comme porte-plume du Burundi au Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU, de garantir que les résolutions de l’ONU déjà existantes soient appliquées au Burundi afin de restaurer la paix et la stabilité dans le pays. STAND demande également aux Chefs d’État de la Communauté de l’Afrique de l’Est, au Conseil de paix et de sécurité de l’Union Africaine, et au Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU de prendre des mesures urgentes pour empêcher d’autres atrocités de se perpétrer à l’encontre de la population civile au Burundi.

STAND: Le mouvement étudiant contre les génocides et la violence de masse, a été fondé en 2004 par des étudiants de l’Université de Georgetown. Depuis lors, STAND s’est étendu aux campus des écoles secondaires et des collèges à travers les États-Unis, le Royaume-Uni et la France. À l’origine un acronyme pour «Students Taking Action Now: Darfour», la mission de STAND s’est rapidement étendue à la défense et à la prévention des génocides et des atrocités de masse, où qu’elles se produisent. Aujourd’hui, STAND se concentre sur le Soudan, le Soudan du Sud, la Birmanie, la République démocratique du Congo, la Syrie et le Yémen, ainsi que sur les atrocités émergentes comme au Burundi et en République centrafricaine et sur la prévention des atrocités et la consolidation de la paix.

Pour plus d’informations, merci de contacter nos correspondants nationaux :

Grace Fernandes, STAND US Student Co-Directrice,

Charlotte Massey, STAND France Student Co-Directrice,

Daisy Goodall, STAND UK Student Directrice,


Iwacu Burundi. (2018, May 12). Carnage à Ruhagarika. Retrieved from

Iwacu Web TV. (2018, May 12). Carnage à Ruhagarika: 26 morts et 7 blessés dans une attaque[Video file]. Retrieved from

‘Real carnage': Dozens killed in attack on Burundi border village [Video file]. (2018, May 12). Retrieved from

(2017, May 25). Secretary-General’s remarks to Security Council open debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict [as delivered] | United Nations Secretary-General. Retrieved from

STAND Welcomes Introduction of Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act

STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities welcomes yesterday’s introduction of H.R. 5273, The Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act of 2018 by Representatives Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ted Poe (R-TX), Mike McCaul (R-TX), Adam Smith (D-WA), Bill Keating (D-MA), and Paul Cook (R-CA) in the United States House of Representatives.

Today, the world is facing the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II, the highest number of refugees in recorded human history, and a 25-year peak in violence conflict. In the last 15 years, half of the world’s population has been exposed to political violence. The human toll is devastating, and a reevaluation of U.S. strategies for preventing and responding to such violence is long overdue.

There is also a huge economic cost to violent conflict. According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, the economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2014 was $14.3 trillion – or 13.4% of the world’s GDP.  Additionally, 91% of global donor funds are spent on conflict response, and only 9% on actually addressing violence and its causes. Clearly, a new approach is needed to stop violence at its core – and that’s exactly what the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act intends to do.

This historic legislation establishes an interagency Global Initiative to Reduce Fragility and Violence, which will develop strategies for reducing violence in ten pilot countries. Importantly, the framework prioritizes continuous evaluation and assessment of efforts in each country in order to better evaluate U.S. efforts to address the root causes of violence and conflict, and will provide the administration the guidance, funds, and flexibility needed to better prevent and respond to violence around the world.
STAND, as the student-led movement to end mass atrocities, is proud to join with 34 other organizations in supporting the Global Fragility and Violence Reduction Act.

Visit to learn more about this initiative.

Supporting organizations include:

  1. Alliance for Peacebuilding
  2. American Friends Service Committee
  3. CARE
  4. Carl Wilkens Fellowship
  5. Center for Civilians in Conflict  
  6. Center on Conscience & War
  7. Charity & Security Network
  8. Chemonics
  9. Church of the Brethren, Office of Public Witness
  10. Conference of Major Superiors of Men
  11. Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces
  12. Cure Violence
  13. Educators Institute for Human Rights
  14. Friends Committee on National Legislation
  15. Global Communities
  16. Humanity United Action
  17. i-ACT
  18. International Alert
  19. International Crisis Group
  20. International Rescue Committee
  21. Jewish World Watch
  22. Karuna Center for Peacebuilding
  23. Mercy Corps
  24. National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
  25. National Latino Evangelical Coalition
  26. Pax Christi International
  27. Pax Christi USA
  28. Peace Direct
  29. PRBB Foundation
  30. SaferWorld
  31. Search for Common Ground
  32. STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities
  33. Stop Genocide Now
  34. World Relief
  35. World Vision