Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann

Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights

Tier 1
Renewed: 2010-03-01
Wilfrid Laurier University
Social Sciences and Humanities

519-884-0710 ext./poste 2780

Research involves

Investigating historic and contemporary public policies that lead to famine, and examining the implications for humanitarian intervention.

Research relevance

This research will help prevent and punish state-induced famine through international law, humanitarian practice and domestic public policy.

Preventing State-Induced Famine

Millions of people around the world are affected by government policies that deprive them of access to food.

Examples range from the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine—which was officially recognized by the Canadian government in 2008 as an act of genocide—to present-day land reform policies in Zimbabwe that have led to food shortages and starvation.

Dr. Rhoda Howard-Hassmann, Canada Research Chair in International Human Rights, is investigating both past and present incidences of state-induced famine. Her ultimate focus is on preventing and punishing state-induced famine as a form of genocide. The approach would rely on possible measures such as the United Nations’ Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, or the International Criminal Court.

Howard-Hassmann’s interdisciplinary research draws on law, history, economics, demography, political science, human rights, public policy and international relations.

Howard-Hassmann’s research will not only expose malnourishment and starvation as political acts, but will also lead to positive changes to human rights norms, international law, and public policy, for the protection of all the world’s citizens.