Speaking Out Case Studies

This collection: "Case Studies: Médecins Sans Frontières Speaks Out," was created in response to the Médecins Sans Frontières International Council's desire to provide the movement with reference documents on "temoignage"/"advocacy". These documents are designed to be straightforward and accessible to all and to help volunteers understand and adopt the organisation's culture of speaking out on issues.

Genocide of Rwandan Tutsi 1994

Genocide of Rwandan Tutsi (1994)

The “Genocide of Rwandan Tutsis 1994” case study is describing the difficulties and dilemmas met by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) during the genocide of Rwandan Tutsis in April, May and June 1994. The killings occurred in spite of the presence of UN troops in Rwanda, and the members of the UN Security Council were slow to call the Tutsi extermination ‘genocide’, hence evading the obligation to intervene and stop the slaughter, as stipulated by international law.

War crimes and politics of terror in Chechnya 1994-2004

War crimes and politics of terror in Chechnya (1994-2004)

The ‘War crimes and politics of terror in Chechnya 1994-2004’ case study describes the constraints, questions and dilemmas experienced by MSF while speaking out during the two Russian-Chechen wars and the following years of ‘normalization’. Was speaking out the right thing to do with regard to Russia, a power with a veto at the UN Security Council and a tradition of propaganda control of the public arena? Was it realistic to rely on raising the awareness of other UN member states via their public’s opinion?