In January 1994, General Dallaire, then the Force Commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), sent a fax to UN headquarters in New York warning of the impending genocide. He signed the fax with the line “peux ce que veux. Allons-y” – “Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Let’s go.” At the time, the international community did not muster the political will to intervene, and as a result nearly a million Rwandans were killed in the subsequent genocide.
Since then, General Dallaire has worked tirelessly to ensure that there is both a will and a way to prevent mass atrocities in the future. However, action must be informed by understanding for it to be effective. Each of us has the ability to stand up and contribute to prevention of these crimes and the involvement of children in committing them. Allons-y serves as a call to action for young people today to add their talent, perspectives, and experiences to this mission.
Allons-y is a series of peer-reviewed papers written by young academics and practitioners, complemented by expert commentary, designed to foster discussion and innovative thinking on issues relating to children in war, terrorism, and violence. This format seeks to leverage the unique viewpoints and contributions of young people working and studying in this field, and magnifies their impact by pairing each piece with the voice of leading experts. This combination firmly situates each piece in praxis, bridging the all-too-frequent gaps between academics and practitioners.