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Published on February 6th, 2012 | by Lauren Beard
Image © The gross human rights abuses carried out by the Syrian government against its own people have been a prominent feature in the news in recent months. Over the weekend, the army stepped up their crackdown in the city of Homs with constant explosions and gunfire. It is clear that the economic and diplomatic sanctions placed on the Syrian government thus far have not been successful, with Russia and China even vetoing such sanctions. This leads to the question of whether or not more must be done to end the violence, such as a military intervention. The issue of humanitarian intervention is highly contentious, particularly when it involves military intervention. For many it is the responsibility of the national government to protect their own people, therefore the intervention on behalf of outside powers impinges upon state sovereignty. The legal restrictions under UN law and the selectivity of UN intervention also call the motives of intervention into question, with many scholars wondering why we saw a military intervention in Kosovo (1999) and more recently in Libya (2011) but not in Rwanda (1994). However, from a moral standpoint, how long should the international community stand by and watch people being killed by their own government before they take collective action to protect those who are failed by their own people? Let us know what you think by voting in our poll. Don't forget you can always leave a comment below! [polldaddy poll=5914651]

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CatchPoll: Does the international community have a responsibility to protect the people of Syria?

The gross human rights abuses carried out by the Syrian government against its own people have been a prominent feature in the news in recent months. Over the weekend, the army stepped up their crackdown in the city of Homs with constant explosions and gunfire. It is clear that the economic and diplomatic sanctions placed on the Syrian government thus far have not been successful, with Russia and China even vetoing such sanctions.

This leads to the question of whether or not more must be done to end the violence, such as a military intervention. The issue of humanitarian intervention is highly contentious, particularly when it involves military intervention. For many it is the responsibility of the national government to protect their own people, therefore the intervention on behalf of outside powers impinges upon state sovereignty. The legal restrictions under UN law and the selectivity of UN intervention also call the motives of intervention into question, with many scholars wondering why we saw a military intervention in Kosovo (1999) and more recently in Libya (2011) but not in Rwanda (1994). However, from a moral standpoint, how long should the international community stand by and watch people being killed by their own government before they take collective action to protect those who are failed by their own people?

Let us know what you think by voting in our poll. Don’t forget you can always leave a comment below!

[polldaddy poll=5914651]

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