Genocide

Genocide

Overview

Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

, racial, religious
Religious denomination
A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.The term describes various Christian denominations...

, or national
Nationality
Nationality is membership of a nation or sovereign state, usually determined by their citizenship, but sometimes by ethnicity or place of residence, or based on their sense of national identity....

 group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars. While a precise definition varies among genocide scholars
Genocide definitions
This is a list of scholarly and international legal definitions of genocide, a word coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1944. While there are various definitions of the term, almost all international bodies of law officially adjudicate the crime of genocide pursuant to the Convention on the Prevention and...

, a legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948 as General Assembly Resolution 260. The Convention entered into force on 12 January 1951. It defines genocide in legal terms, and is the culmination of...

 (CPPCG). Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

al, ethnical, racial or religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
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Encyclopedia

Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

, racial, religious
Religious denomination
A religious denomination is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.The term describes various Christian denominations...

, or national
Nationality
Nationality is membership of a nation or sovereign state, usually determined by their citizenship, but sometimes by ethnicity or place of residence, or based on their sense of national identity....

 group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars. While a precise definition varies among genocide scholars
Genocide definitions
This is a list of scholarly and international legal definitions of genocide, a word coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1944. While there are various definitions of the term, almost all international bodies of law officially adjudicate the crime of genocide pursuant to the Convention on the Prevention and...

, a legal definition is found in the 1948 United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948 as General Assembly Resolution 260. The Convention entered into force on 12 January 1951. It defines genocide in legal terms, and is the culmination of...

 (CPPCG). Article 2 of this convention defines genocide as "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

al, ethnical, racial or religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

The preamble to the CPPCG states that instances of genocide have taken place throughout history, but it was not until Raphael Lemkin
Raphael Lemkin
Raphael Lemkin was a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent. He is best known for his work against genocide, a word he coined in 1943 from the root words genos and -cide...

 coined the term and the prosecution of perpetrators of the Holocaust at the Nuremberg trials
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

 that the United Nations agreed to the CPPCG which defined the crime of genocide under international law.

During a video interview with Raphael Lemkin, the interviewer asked him about how he came to be interested in this genocide. He replied; "I became interested in genocide because it happened so many times. First to the Armenians
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action."

There was a gap of more than forty years between the CPPCG coming into force and the first prosecution under the provisions of the treaty. To date all international prosecutions of genocide, the Rwandan Genocide
Rwandan Genocide
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

 and the Srebrenica Genocide, have been by ad hoc
Ad hoc
Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning "for this". It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes. Compare A priori....

international tribunals. The International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

 came into existence in 2002 and it has the authority to try people from the states that have signed the treaty, but to date it has not tried anyone.

Since the CPPCG came into effect in January 1951 about 80 member states of the United Nations have passed legislation that incorporates the provisions of the CPPCG into their domestic law, and some perpetrators of genocide have been found guilty under such municipal laws, such as Nikola Jorgic
Nikola Jorgic
Nikola Jorgic is a Bosnian Serb from the Doboj region who was the leader of a paramilitary group located in the Doboj region. In 1997, Nikola was convicted of genocide in Germany. This was the first conviction won against participants in the Bosnian Genocide...

, who was found guilty of genocide in Bosnia by a German court (Jorgic v. Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

).

Critics of the CPPCG point to the narrow definition of the groups that are protected under the treaty, particularly the lack of protection for political groups for what has been termed politicide
Politicide
Politicide has three related but distinct meanings. It can mean a gradual but systematic attempt to cause the annihilation of an independent political and social entity. For example the destruction of the apartheid system in South Africa...

 (politicide is included as genocide under some municipal jurisdictions). One of the problems was that until there was a body of case law from prosecutions, the precise definition of what the treaty meant had not been tested in court, for example, what precisely does the term "in part" mean? As more perpetrators are tried under international tribunals and municipal court cases, a body of legal arguments and legal interpretations are helping to address these issues.

The exclusion of political groups and politically motivated violence from the international definition of genocide is particularly controversial. The reason for this exclusion is because a number of UN member nations insisted on it when the Genocide Convention was being drafted in 1948. They argued that political groups are too vaguely defined, as well as temporary and unstable. They further held that international law should not seek to regulate or limit political conflicts, since that would give the UN too much power to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign nations. In the years since then, critics have argued that the exclusion of political groups from the definition, as well as the lack of a specific reference to the destruction of a social group through the forcible removal of a population, was designed to protect the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and the Western Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 from possible accusations of genocide in the wake of World War II.

Another criticism of the CPPCG is that when its provisions have been invoked by the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

, they have only been invoked to punish those who have already committed genocide and have left a paper trail. It was this criticism that led to the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1674 by the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 on 28 April 2006 commits the Council to action to protect civilians in armed conflict and to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

 and crimes against humanity.

Genocide scholars such as Gregory Stanton
Gregory Stanton
Gregory H. Stanton is the founder and president of Genocide Watch, the founder and director of the Cambodian Genocide Project, and the founder and Chair of the International Campaign to End Genocide...

 have postulated that conditions and acts that often occur before, during, and after genocide—such as dehumanization
Dehumanization
Dehumanization is to make somebody less human by taking away his or her individuality, the creative and interesting aspects of his or her personality, or his or her compassion and sensitivity towards others. Dehumanization may be directed by an organization or may be the composite of individual...

 of victim groups, strong organization of genocidal groups, and denial
Denial
Denial is a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.The subject may use:* simple denial: deny the reality of the...

 of genocide by its perpetrators—can be identified and actions taken to stop genocides before they happen. Critics of this approach such as Dirk Moses assert that this is unrealistic and that, for example, "Darfur
War in Darfur
The Darfur Conflict was a guerrilla conflict or civil war centered on the Darfur region of Sudan. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and Justice and Equality Movement groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in...

 will end when it suits the great powers that have a stake in the region"
.

Etymology


The term "genocide" was coined by Raphael Lemkin
Raphael Lemkin
Raphael Lemkin was a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent. He is best known for his work against genocide, a word he coined in 1943 from the root words genos and -cide...

 (1900–1959), a Polish
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

-Jewish legal scholar, in 1944, firstly from the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 root génos (γένος) (birth, race, stock, kind); secondly from Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 -cidium (cutting, killing) via French -cide.

In 1933 Lemkin wrote a proposal on the "crime of barbarity" to be presented to the Legal Council of the League of Nations in Madrid. This was his first formal attempt at creating a law against what he would later call genocide. The concept originated in his youth when he first heard of the Ottoman government's mass killings (Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

) of its Christian population during the First World War and the renewed
Simele massacre
The Simele Massacre was a massacre committed by the armed forces of the Kingdom of Iraq during the systematic targeting of Assyrians in northern Iraq in August 1933...

 round of anti-Assyrian persecution in Iraq. His proposal failed, and his work incurred the disapproval of the Polish government, which was at the time pursuing a policy of conciliation with Nazi Germany.

In 1944, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace is a foreign-policy think tank based in Washington, D.C. The organization describes itself as being dedicated to advancing cooperation between nations and promoting active international engagement by the United States...

 published Lemkin's most important work, entitled Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, in the United States. This book included an extensive legal analysis of German rule in countries occupied by Nazi Germany during the course of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, along with the definition of the term genocide ("the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group").

Lemkin's idea of genocide as an offense against international law was widely accepted by the international community and was one of the legal bases of the Nuremberg Trials
Nuremberg Trials
The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany....

 (the indictment of the 24 Nazi leaders specifies in Count 3 that the defendants "conducted deliberate and systematic genocide—namely, the extermination of racial and national groups...") Lemkin presented a draft resolution for a Genocide Convention treaty to a number of countries in an effort to persuade them to sponsor the resolution. With the support of the United States, the resolution was placed before the General Assembly for consideration. In 1943, Lemkin wrote:

International law


In the wake of the Holocaust, Lemkin successfully campaigned for the universal acceptance of international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

s defining and forbidding genocide. In 1946, the first session of the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

 adopted a resolution
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96 of 11 December 1946, titled "The Crime of Genocide", was a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly during its first session that affirmed that genocide was a crime under international law...

 that "affirmed" that genocide was a crime under international law, but did not provide a legal definition of the crime. In 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948 as General Assembly Resolution 260. The Convention entered into force on 12 January 1951. It defines genocide in legal terms, and is the culmination of...

which legally defined the crime of genocide for the first time.

The CPPCG was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948 and came into effect on 12 January 1951 (Resolution 260 (III)). It contains an internationally-recognized definition of genocide which was incorporated into the national criminal legislation of many countries, and was also adopted by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court . It was adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on 17 July 1998 and it entered into force on 1 July 2002. As of 13 October 2011, 119 states are party to the statute...

, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

 (ICC). The Convention (in article 2) defines genocide:
The first draft of the Convention included political killings, but the USSR
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 along with some other nations would not accept that actions against groups identified as holding similar political opinions or social status would constitute genocide, so these stipulations were subsequently removed in a political and diplomatic compromise.

Intent to destroy


In 2007 the European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

 (ECHR), noted in its judgement on Jorgic v. Germany case that in 1992 the majority of legal scholars took the narrow view that "intent to destroy" in the CPPCG meant the intended physical-biological destruction of the protected group and that this was still the majority opinion. But the ECHR also noted that a minority took a broader view and did not consider biological-physical destruction was necessary as the intent to destroy a national, racial, religious or ethnical group was enough to qualify as genocide.

In the same judgement the ECHR reviewed the judgements of several international and municipal courts judgements. It noted that International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

 and the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 had agreed with the narrow interpretation, that biological-physical destruction was necessary for an act to qualify as genocide. The ECHR also noted that at the time of its the judgement, apart from courts in Germany which had taken a broad view, that there had been few cases of genocide under other Convention States municipal law
Municipal law
Municipal law is the national, domestic, or internal law of a sovereign state defined in opposition to international law. Municipal law includes not only law at the national level, but law at the state, provincial, territorial, regional or local levels...

s and that "There are no reported cases in which the courts of these States have defined the type of group destruction the perpetrator must have intended in order to be found guilty of genocide".

In part


The phrase "in whole or in part" has been subject to much discussion by scholars of international humanitarian law. The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

 found in Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstic – Trial Chamber I – Judgment – IT-98-33 (2001) ICTY8 (2 August 2001) that Genocide had been committed. In Prosecutor v. Radislav Krstic – Appeals Chamber – Judgment – IT-98-33 (2004) ICTY 7 (19 April 2004) paragraphs 8, 9, 10, and 11 addressed the issue of in part and found that "the part must be a substantial part of that group. The aim of the Genocide Convention is to prevent the intentional destruction of entire human groups, and the part targeted must be significant enough to have an impact on the group as a whole." The Appeals Chamber goes into details of other cases and the opinions of respected commentators on the Genocide Convention to explain how they came to this conclusion.

The judges continue in paragraph 12, "The determination of when the targeted part is substantial enough to meet this requirement may involve a number of considerations. The numeric size of the targeted part of the group is the necessary and important starting point, though not in all cases the ending point of the inquiry. The number of individuals targeted should be evaluated not only in absolute terms, but also in relation to the overall size of the entire group. In addition to the numeric size of the targeted portion, its prominence within the group can be a useful consideration. If a specific part of the group is emblematic of the overall group, or is essential to its survival, that may support a finding that the part qualifies as substantial within the meaning of Article 4 [of the Tribunal's Statute]."

In paragraph 13 the judges raise the issue of the perpetrators' access to the victims: "The historical examples of genocide also suggest that the area of the perpetrators’ activity and control, as well as the possible extent of their reach, should be considered. ... The intent to destroy formed by a perpetrator of genocide will always be limited by the opportunity presented to him. While this factor alone will not indicate whether the targeted group is substantial, it can—in combination with other factors—inform the analysis."

CPPCG coming into force


After the minimum 20 countries became parties to the Convention, it came into force as international law on 12 January 1951. At that time however, only two of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) were parties to the treaty: France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

. Eventually the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 ratified in 1954, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in 1970, the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 in 1983 (having replaced the Taiwan-based Republic of China on the UNSC in 1971), and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1988. This long delay in support for the Genocide Convention by the world's most powerful nations caused the Convention to languish for over four decades. Only in the 1990s did the international law on the crime of genocide begin to be enforced.

Security Council responsibility to protect


UN Security Council Resolution 1674, adopted by the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 on 28 April 2006, "reaffirms the provisions of paragraphs 138 and 139 of the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document regarding the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity". The resolution
United Nations Security Council Resolution
A United Nations Security Council resolution is a UN resolution adopted by the fifteen members of the Security Council; the UN body charged with "primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security"....

 committed the Council to action to protect civilians in armed conflict.

Municipal law


Since the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) came into effect in January 1951 about 80 member states of the United Nations have passed legislation that incorporates the provisions of the CPPCG into their municipal law
Municipal law
Municipal law is the national, domestic, or internal law of a sovereign state defined in opposition to international law. Municipal law includes not only law at the national level, but law at the state, provincial, territorial, regional or local levels...

.

Criticisms of the CPPCG and other definitions of genocide


William Schabas has suggested that a permanent body as recommended by the Whitaker Report to monitor the implementation of the Genocide Convention, and require States to issue reports on their compliance with the convention (such as were incorporated into the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture), would make the convention more effective.

Writing in 1998 Kurt Jonassohn and Karin Björnson stated that the CPPCG was a legal instrument resulting from a diplomatic compromise. As such the wording of the treaty is not intended to be a definition suitable as a research tool, and although it is used for this purpose, as it has an international legal credibility that others lack, other definitions
Genocide definitions
This is a list of scholarly and international legal definitions of genocide, a word coined by Raphael Lemkin in 1944. While there are various definitions of the term, almost all international bodies of law officially adjudicate the crime of genocide pursuant to the Convention on the Prevention and...

 have also been postulated. Jonassohn and Björnson go on to say that none of these alternative definitions have gained widespread support for various reasons.

Jonassohn and Björnson postulate that the major reason why no single generally accepted genocide definition has emerged is because academics have adjusted their focus to emphasise different periods and have found it expedient to use slightly different definitions to help them interpret events. For example Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn studied the whole of human history, while Leo Kuper
Leo Kuper
Leo Kuper was a writer and philosopher. He was born to a Lithuanian Jewish family in South Africa. He trained as a lawyer before becoming a sociologist specialising in the study of genocide....

 and R. J. Rummel
R. J. Rummel
Rudolph Joseph Rummel is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Hawaii. He has spent his career assembling data on collective violence and war with a view toward helping their resolution or elimination...

 in their more recent works concentrated on the 20th century, and Helen Fein
Helen Fein
Helen Fein is a historical sociologist, Professor, specialized on genocide, human rights, collective violence and other issues. She is an author and editor of 12 books and monographs, Associate of International Security Program , a founder and first President of the International Association of...

, Barbara Harff and Ted Gurr have looked at post World War II events. Jonassohn and Björnson are critical of some of these studies arguing that they are too expansive and concludes that the academic discipline of genocide studies is too young to have a canon of work on which to build an academic paradigm
Paradigm
The word paradigm has been used in science to describe distinct concepts. It comes from Greek "παράδειγμα" , "pattern, example, sample" from the verb "παραδείκνυμι" , "exhibit, represent, expose" and that from "παρά" , "beside, beyond" + "δείκνυμι" , "to show, to point out".The original Greek...

.

The exclusion of social and political groups as targets of genocide in the CPPCG legal definition has been criticized by some historians and sociologists, for example M. Hassan Kakar in his book The Soviet Invasion and the Afghan Response, 1979–1982 argues that the international definition of genocide is too restricted, and that it should include political groups or any group so defined by the perpetrator and quotes Chalk and Jonassohn: "Genocide is a form of one-sided mass killing in which a state or other authority intends to destroy a group, as that group and membership in it are defined by the perpetrator." While there are various definitions of the term, Adam Jones states that the majority of genocide scholars consider that "intent to destroy" is a requirement for any act to be labelled genocide, and that there is growing agreement on the inclusion of the physical destruction criterion.

Barbara Harff and Ted Gurr defined genocide as "the promotion and execution of policies by a state or its agents which result in the deaths of a substantial portion of a group ...[when] the victimized groups are defined primarily in terms of their communal characteristics, i.e., ethnicity, religion or nationality." Harff and Gurr also differentiate between genocides and politicide
Politicide
Politicide has three related but distinct meanings. It can mean a gradual but systematic attempt to cause the annihilation of an independent political and social entity. For example the destruction of the apartheid system in South Africa...

s by the characteristics by which members of a group are identified by the state. In genocides, the victimized groups are defined primarily in terms of their communal characteristics, i.e., ethnicity, religion or nationality. In politicides the victim groups are defined primarily in terms of their hierarchical position or political opposition to the regime and dominant groups. Daniel D. Polsby and Don B. Kates, Jr. state that "... we follow Harff's distinction between genocides and 'pogrom
Pogrom
A pogrom is a form of violent riot, a mob attack directed against a minority group, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres...

s,' which she describes as 'short-lived outbursts by mobs, which, although often condoned by authorities, rarely persist.' If the violence persists for long enough, however, Harff argues, the distinction between condonation and complicity collapses."

According to R. J. Rummel, genocide has 3 different meanings. The ordinary meaning is murder by government of people due to their national, ethnic, racial, or religious group membership. The legal meaning of genocide refers to the international treaty, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This also includes non-killings that in the end eliminate the group, such as preventing births or forcibly transferring children out of the group to another group. A generalized meaning of genocide is similar to the ordinary meaning but also includes government killings of political opponents or otherwise intentional murder. It is to avoid confusion regarding what meaning is intended that Rummel created the term democide
Democide
Democide is a term revived and redefined by the political scientist R. J. Rummel as "the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder." Rummel created the term as an extended concept to include forms of government murder that are not covered by the...

 for the third meaning.

A major criticism of the international community's response to the Rwandan Genocide was that it was reactive, not proactive. The international community has developed a mechanism for prosecuting the perpetrators of genocide but has not developed the will or the mechanisms for intervening in a genocide as it happens. Critics point to the Darfur conflict
Darfur conflict
The Darfur Conflict was a guerrilla conflict or civil war centered on the Darfur region of Sudan. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and Justice and Equality Movement groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in...

 and suggest that if anyone is found guilty of genocide after the conflict either by prosecutions brought in the International Criminal Court or in an ad hoc International Criminal Tribunal, this will confirm this perception.

By ad hoc tribunals


All signatories to the CPPCG are required to prevent and punish acts of genocide, both in peace and wartime, though some barriers make this enforcement difficult. In particular, some of the signatories—namely, Bahrain
Bahrain
' , officially the Kingdom of Bahrain , is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. It is ruled by the Al Khalifa royal family. The population in 2010 stood at 1,214,705, including 235,108 non-nationals. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared a kingdom in 2002.Bahrain is...

, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Malaysia, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, Yemen
Yemen
The Republic of Yemen , commonly known as Yemen , is a country located in the Middle East, occupying the southwestern to southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, and Oman to the east....

, and Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

—signed with the proviso that no claim of genocide could be brought against them at the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 without their consent. Despite official protests from other signatories (notably Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

 and Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

) on the ethics and legal standing of these reservations, the immunity
Immunity from prosecution (international law)
Immunity from prosecution is a doctrine of international law that allows an accused to avoid prosecution for criminal offences. Immunities are of two types. The first is functional immunity, or immunity ratione materiae. This is an immunity granted to people who perform certain functions of...

 from prosecution they grant has been invoked from time to time, as when the United States refused to allow a charge of genocide brought against it by Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

 following the 1999 Kosovo War
Kosovo War
The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

.

It is commonly accepted that, at least since World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, genocide has been illegal under customary international law
Custom (law)
Custom in law is the established pattern of behavior that can be objectively verified within a particular social setting. A claim can be carried out in defense of "what has always been done and accepted by law." Customary law exists where:...

 as a peremptory norm
Peremptory norm
A peremptory norm is a fundamental principle of international law which is accepted by the international community of states as a norm from which no derogation is ever permitted.There is no clear agreement regarding precisely which norms are jus cogens nor how a norm reaches that status, but...

, as well as under conventional international law
Treaty
A treaty is an express agreement under international law entered into by actors in international law, namely sovereign states and international organizations. A treaty may also be known as an agreement, protocol, covenant, convention or exchange of letters, among other terms...

. Acts of genocide are generally difficult to establish for prosecution, because a chain of accountability must be established. International criminal courts and tribunals function primarily because the states involved are incapable or unwilling to prosecute crimes of this magnitude themselves.

Nuremberg Tribunal (1945–1946)


Because the universal acceptance of international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

s, defining and forbidding genocide was achieved in 1948, with the promulgation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG), those criminals who were prosecuted after the war in international courts, for taking part in the Holocaust were found guilty of crimes against humanity and other more specific crimes like murder. Nevertheless the Holocaust is universally recognized to have been a genocide and the term, that had been coined the year before by Raphael Lemkin
Raphael Lemkin
Raphael Lemkin was a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent. He is best known for his work against genocide, a word he coined in 1943 from the root words genos and -cide...

, appeared in the indictment of the 24 Nazi leaders, Count 3, stated that all the defendants had "conducted deliberate and systematic genocide—namely, the extermination of racial and national groups..."

International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (1993 to present (2014 is the scheduled end date))




The term Bosnian Genocide is used to refer either to the genocide
Srebrenica massacre
The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide, refers to the July 1995 killing, during the Bosnian War, of more than 8,000 Bosniaks , mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska under the command of...

 committed by Serb forces in Srebrenica
Srebrenica
Srebrenica is a town and municipality in the east of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Bosnian Serb entity of Republika Srpska. Srebrenica is a small mountain town, its main industry being salt mining and a nearby spa. During the Bosnian War, the town was the site of the July 1995 massacre,...

 in 1995, or to ethnic cleansing that took place during the 1992–1995 Bosnian War (an interpretation rejected by a majority of scholars).

In 2001 the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The International Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia since 1991, more commonly referred to as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia or ICTY, is a...

 (ICTY) judged that the 1995 Srebrenica massacre
Srebrenica massacre
The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide, refers to the July 1995 killing, during the Bosnian War, of more than 8,000 Bosniaks , mainly men and boys, in and around the town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, by units of the Army of Republika Srpska under the command of...

 was an act of genocide.

On 26 February 2007 the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 (ICJ), in the Bosnian Genocide Case upheld the ICTY's earlier finding that the Srebrenica massacre constituted genocide, but found that the Serbian government had not participated in a wider genocide on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war, as the Bosnian government had claimed.

On 12 July 2007, European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

 when dismissing the appeal by Nikola Jorgic
Nikola Jorgic
Nikola Jorgic is a Bosnian Serb from the Doboj region who was the leader of a paramilitary group located in the Doboj region. In 1997, Nikola was convicted of genocide in Germany. This was the first conviction won against participants in the Bosnian Genocide...

 against his conviction for genocide by a German court (Jorgic v. Germany) noted that the German courts wider interpretation of genocide has since been rejected by international courts considering similar cases. The ECHR also noted that in the 21st century "Amongst scholars, the majority have taken the view that ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

, in the way in which it was carried out by the Serb forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to expel Muslims and Croats from their homes, did not constitute genocide. However, there are also a considerable number of scholars who have suggested that these acts did amount to genocide"

About 30 people have been indicted for participating in genocide or complicity in genocide during the early 1990s in Bosnia
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

. To date after several plea bargain
Plea bargain
A plea bargain is an agreement in a criminal case whereby the prosecutor offers the defendant the opportunity to plead guilty, usually to a lesser charge or to the original criminal charge with a recommendation of a lighter than the maximum sentence.A plea bargain allows criminal defendants to...

s and some convictions that were successfully challenged on appeal two men, Vujadin Popović
Vujadin Popović
Vujadin Popović is a Bosnian Serb who participated in the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was Lieutenant Colonel and the Chief of Security of the Drina Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army....

 and Ljubiša Beara
Ljubiša Beara
Ljubiša Beara is a Bosnian Serb who participated in the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was Colonel and Chief of Security of the Bosnian Serb Army Main Staff....

, have been found guilty of genocide, and two others, Radislav Krstic
Radislav Krstic
Radislav Krstić was the Deputy Commander and later Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska from October 1994 until 12 July 1995...

 and Drago Nikolic, have been found guilty of aiding and abetting genocide. Three others have been found guilty of participating in genocides in Bosnia by German courts, one of whom Nikola Jorgic
Nikola Jorgic
Nikola Jorgic is a Bosnian Serb from the Doboj region who was the leader of a paramilitary group located in the Doboj region. In 1997, Nikola was convicted of genocide in Germany. This was the first conviction won against participants in the Bosnian Genocide...

 lost an appeal against his conviction in the European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

. A further eight men, former members of the Bosnian Serb security forces were found guilty of genocide by the State Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina (See List of Bosnian genocide prosecutions).

Slobodan Milosevic
Slobodan Milošević
Slobodan Milošević was President of Serbia and Yugoslavia. He served as the President of Socialist Republic of Serbia and Republic of Serbia from 1989 until 1997 in three terms and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000...

, as the former President of Serbia and of Yugoslavia was the most senior political figure to stand trial at the ICTY. He died on 11 March 2006 during his trial where he was accused of genocide or complicity in genocide in territories within Bosnia and Herzegovina, so no verdict was returned. In 1995 the ICTY issued a warrant for the arrest of Bosnian Serbs Radovan Karadzic
Radovan Karadžic
Radovan Karadžić is a former Bosnian Serb politician. He is detained in the United Nations Detention Unit of Scheveningen, accused of war crimes committed against Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats during the Siege of Sarajevo, as well as ordering the Srebrenica massacre.Educated as a...

 and Ratko Mladic
Ratko Mladić
Ratko Mladić is an accused war criminal and a former Bosnian Serb military leader. On May 31, 2011, Mladić was extradited to The Hague, where he was processed at the detention center that holds suspects for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia...

 on several charges including genocide. On 21 July 2008, Karadzic was arrested in Belgrade, and he is currently in The Hague on trial accused of genocide among other crimes. Ratko Mladic was arrested on May 26, 2011 by Serbian special police in Lazarevo, Serbia.

International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (1994 to present (2012 is the scheduled end date))


The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955 in order to judge people responsible for the Rwandan Genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda, or by Rwandan...

 (ICTR) is a court under the auspices of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 for the prosecution of offenses committed in Rwanda
Rwanda
Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

 during the genocide which occurred there
Rwandan Genocide
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

 during April, 1994, commencing on 6 April. The ICTR was created on 8 November 1994 by the Security Council of the United Nations in order to judge those people responsible for the acts of genocide and other serious violations of the international law performed in the territory of Rwanda, or by Rwandan citizens in nearby states, between 1 January and 31 December 1994.

So far, the ICTR has finished nineteen trials and convicted twenty seven accused persons. On December 14, 2009 two more men were accused and convicted for their crimes. Another twenty five persons are still on trial. Twenty-one are awaiting trial in detention, two more added on December 14, 2009. Ten are still at large. The first trial, of Jean-Paul Akayesu
Jean Akayesu
Jean-Paul Akayesu is a former teacher, school inspector, and Mouvement Démocratique Républicain politician from Rwanda. He served as mayor of Taba commune from April 1993 until June 1994....

, began in 1997. In October, 1998, Akayesu was sentenced to life imprisonment. Jean Kambanda
Jean Kambanda
Jean Kambanda was the Prime Minister in the caretaker government of Rwanda from the start of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide...

, interim Prime Minister, pled guilty.

Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (2003 to present)



The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, commonly known as the "Khmer Rouge Tribunal", is a national court established pursuant to an agreement between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the United Nations to try senior members of the Khmer Rouge for serious violations of Cambodian...

, commonly known as the "Khmer Rouge Tribunal", is a national court established pursuant to an agreement between the Royal Government of Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

 and the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 to try senior members of the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

 for serious violations of Cambodian penal law, international humanitarian law
International humanitarian law
International humanitarian law , often referred to as the laws of war, the laws and customs of war or the law of armed conflict, is the legal corpus that comprises "the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Conventions, as well as subsequent treaties, case law, and customary international law." It...

 and custom, and violation of international conventions recognized by Cambodia, committed during the period between 17 April 1975 and 6 January 1979. This includes crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

By the International Criminal Court


To date all international prosecutions for genocide have been brought in specially convened international tribunals. Since 2002, the International Criminal Court can exercise its jurisdiction if national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute genocide, thus being a "court of last resort," leaving the primary responsibility to exercise jurisdiction over alleged criminals to individual states. Due to the United States concerns over the ICC
United States and the International Criminal Court
The United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court . The ICC is a permanent international criminal court, founded in 2002 by the Rome Statute to "bring to justice the perpetrators of the worst crimes known to humankind - war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide",...

, the United States prefers to continue to use specially convened international tribunals for such investigations and potential prosecutions.

Darfur, Sudan


The on-going conflict in Darfur
Darfur
Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

, Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, which started in 2003, was declared a "genocide" by United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 Colin Powell
Colin Powell
Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military...

 on 9 September 2004 in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is a standing committee of the United States Senate. It is charged with leading foreign-policy legislation and debate in the Senate. The Foreign Relations Committee is generally responsible for overseeing and funding foreign aid programs as...

. Since that time however, no other permanent member of the UN Security Council followed suit. In fact, in January 2005, an International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur, authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 1564 of 2004, issued a report to the Secretary-General stating that "the Government of the Sudan has not pursued a policy of genocide." Nevertheless, the Commission cautioned that "The conclusion that no genocidal policy has been pursued and implemented in Darfur by the Government authorities, directly or through the militias under their control, should not be taken in any way as detracting from the gravity of the crimes perpetrated in that region. International offences such as the crimes against humanity and war crimes that have been committed in Darfur may be no less serious and heinous than genocide."

In March 2005, the Security Council formally referred the situation in Darfur to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, taking into account the Commission report but without mentioning any specific crimes. Two permanent members of the Security Council, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, abstained from the vote on the referral resolution. As of his fourth report to the Security Council, the Prosecutor has found "reasonable grounds to believe that the individuals identified [in the UN Security Council Resolution 1593] have committed crimes against humanity and war crimes," but did not find sufficient evidence to prosecute for genocide.

In April 2007, the Judges of the ICC issued arrest warrants against the former Minister of State for the Interior, Ahmad Harun, and a Militia
Janjaweed
Janjaweed
The Janjaweed is a blanket term used to describe mostly gunmen in Darfur, western Sudan, and now eastern Chad...

 leader, Ali Kushayb
Ali Kushayb
Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman, commonly known as Ali Kushayb, is a former senior Janjaweed commander supporting the Sudanese government against Darfur rebel groups, and currently is sought under an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. He was known as aqid al oqada ...

, for crimes against humanity and war crimes.

On 14 July 2008, prosecutors at the International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court
The International Criminal Court is a permanent tribunal to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression .It came into being on 1 July 2002—the date its founding treaty, the Rome Statute of the...

 (ICC), filed ten charges of war crimes against Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir
Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir is the current President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister...

: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. The ICC's prosecutors claimed that al-Bashir "masterminded and implemented a plan to destroy in substantial part" three tribal groups in Darfur because of their ethnicity.

On 4 March 2009, the ICC issued a warrant of arrest for Omar Al Bashir, President of Sudan as the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber I concluded that his position as head of state does not grant him immunity against prosecution before the ICC. The warrant was for war crimes and crimes against humanity. It did not include the crime of genocide because the majority of the Chamber did not find that the prosecutors had provided enough evidence to include such a charge.

Genocide in history



The preamble to the CPPCG states that "genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world," and that "at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity."

In many cases where accusations of genocide have circulated, partisans have fiercely disputed such an interpretation and the details of the event. This often leads to the promotion of vastly different versions of the event in question.

Revisionist attempts
Historical revisionism (negationism)
Historical revisionism is either the legitimate scholastic re-examination of existing knowledge about a historical event, or the illegitimate distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear in a more or less favourable light. For the former, i.e. the academic pursuit, see...

 to deny or challenge claims of genocides are illegal in some countries. For example, several European countries ban denying the Holocaust, whilst in Turkey it is illegal to refer to mass killings of Armenians
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

, Greeks and Assyrians
Assyrian genocide
The Assyrian Genocide refers to the mass slaughter of the Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac population of the Ottoman Empire during the 1890s, the First World War, and the period of 1922-1925...

 by the Ottoman Empire towards the end of the First World War as a genocide.

Stages of genocide, influences leading to genocide, and efforts to prevent it


In 1996 Gregory Stanton
Gregory Stanton
Gregory H. Stanton is the founder and president of Genocide Watch, the founder and director of the Cambodian Genocide Project, and the founder and Chair of the International Campaign to End Genocide...

, the president of Genocide Watch
Genocide Watch
Genocide Watch is an international organization based in the United States which attempts to predict, prevent, limit, eliminate, and punish genocide throughout the world through reporting, public awareness campaigns, and judicial or quasi-judicial follow-up...

, presented a briefing paper called "The 8 Stages of Genocide" at the United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

. In it he suggested that genocide develops in eight stages that are "predictable but not inexorable".

The Stanton paper was presented at the State Department, shortly after the Rwanda genocide and much of the analysis is based on why that genocide occurred. The preventative measures suggested, given the original target audience, were those that the United States could implement directly or use their influence on other governments to have implemented.
Stage Characteristics Preventive measures
1.
Classification
People are divided into "us and them". "The main preventive measure at this early stage is to develop universalistic institutions that transcend
Racial integration
Racial integration, or simply integration includes desegregation . In addition to desegregation, integration includes goals such as leveling barriers to association, creating equal opportunity regardless of race, and the development of a culture that draws on diverse traditions, rather than merely...

... divisions."
2.
Symbolization
"When combined with hatred, symbols may be forced upon unwilling members of pariah groups..." "To combat symbolization, hate symbols can be legally forbidden as can hate speech
Hate speech
Hate speech is, outside the law, any communication that disparages a person or a group on the basis of some characteristic such as race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, religion, or other characteristic....

".
3.
Dehumanization
"One group denies the humanity of the other group. Members of it are equated with animals, vermin, insects or diseases." "Local and international leaders should condemn the use of hate speech and make it culturally unacceptable. Leaders who incite genocide should be banned from international travel and have their foreign finances frozen."
4.
Organization
"Genocide is always organized... Special army units or militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

s are often trained and armed..."
"The U.N. should impose arms embargoes on governments and citizens of countries involved in genocidal massacres, and create commissions to investigate violations"
5.
Polarization
"Hate groups broadcast polarizing propaganda
Propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

..."
"Prevention may mean security protection for moderate leaders or assistance to human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 groups...Coups d’état by extremists should be opposed by international sanctions."
6.
Preparation
"Victims are identified and separated out because of their ethnic or religious identity..." "At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. ..."
7.
Extermination
"It is "extermination" to the killers because they do not believe their victims to be fully human." "At this stage, only rapid and overwhelming armed intervention can stop genocide. Real safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection."
8.
Denial
Genocide denial
Genocide denial occurs when an act of genocide is met with attempts to deny the occurrence and minimize the scale or death toll. The most well-known type is Holocaust denial, but its definition can extend to any genocide that has been minimized or met with excessive skepticism.Where there is near...

"The perpetrators... deny that they committed any crimes..." "The response to denial is punishment by an international tribunal or national courts"


In a paper for the Social Science Research Council
Social Science Research Council
The Social Science Research Council is a U.S.-based independent nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing research in the social sciences and related disciplines...

 Dirk Moses criticises the Stanton approach concluding:
Other authors have focused on the structural conditions leading up to genocide and the psychological and social processes that create an evolution toward genocide. Helen Fein showed that pre-existing anti-Semitism and systems that maintained anti-Semitic policies was related to the number of Jews killed in different European countries during the Holocaust. Ervin Staub showed that economic deterioration and political confusion and disorganization were starting points of increasing discrimination and violence in many instances of genocides and mass killing. They lead to scapegoating a group and ideologies that identified that group as an enemy. A history of devaluation of the group that becomes the victim, past violence against the group that becomes the perpetrator leading to psychological wounds, authoritarian cultures and political systems, and the passivity of internal and external witnesses (bystanders) all contribute to the probability that the violence develops into genocide. Intense conflict between groups that is unresolved, becomes intractable and violent can also lead to genocide. The conditions that lead to genocide provide guidance to early prevention, such as humanizing a devalued group,creating ideologies that embrace all groups, and activating bystander responses. There is substantial research to indicate how this can be done, but information is only slowly transformed into action.

Cultural genocide



The precise definition of "cultural genocide" remains unclear. The term was proposed by lawyer Raphael Lemkin
Raphael Lemkin
Raphael Lemkin was a Polish lawyer of Jewish descent. He is best known for his work against genocide, a word he coined in 1943 from the root words genos and -cide...

 in 1933 as a component to genocide, which he called "vandalism
Vandalism
Vandalism is the behaviour attributed originally to the Vandals, by the Romans, in respect of culture: ruthless destruction or spoiling of anything beautiful or venerable...

". The drafters of the 1948 Genocide Convention considered the use of the term, but dropped it under strong opposition from western countries
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

, especially the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, who feared that too broad a definition of genocide could implicate its activity in its colonies
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

.

See also


  • List of genocides
  • Autogenocide
    Autogenocide
    Autogenocide is the extermination of a country's citizens by its own people or government. Auto comes from the Greek reflexive pronoun while genocide comes from Greek genos meaning "race, tribe" and the Latin word -cidere meaning "kill"....

  • Gendercide
    Gendercide
    Gendercide is a neologism that refers to the systematic killing of members of a specific sex.-Gendercide:Gendercide is gender-selective mass killing. The term was first used by Mary Anne Warren in her 1985 book, Gendercide: The Implications of Sex Selection...

  • Policide
    Policide
    Policide is a neologism used in political science to describe the intentional destruction of a city or nation.-Origin:Writer Michael Walzer credits the origin of the term "policide" to Abba Eban, Israel's foreign minister in 1967.Similarly, professor Steve J...

  • Famine
    Famine
    A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including crop failure, overpopulation, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every continent in the world has...

  • Counter-insurgency
    Counter-insurgency
    A counter-insurgency or counterinsurgency involves actions taken by the recognized government of a nation to contain or quell an insurgency taken up against it...

  • Capital punishment
    Capital punishment
    Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

  • Torture
    Torture
    Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

  • Human Rights Violations
  • War
    War
    War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

  • Police Brutality
    Police brutality
    Police brutality is the intentional use of excessive force, usually physical, but potentially also in the form of verbal attacks and psychological intimidation, by a police officer....



Research:
  • The Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights
    The Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution, and Human Rights
    The Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights is a non-profit organization based at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. It seeks to enhance the understanding of genocide, political violence, and protracted conflict and related mechanisms for their prevention...

  • International Association of Genocide Scholars
    International Association of Genocide Scholars
    The International Association of Genocide Scholars is a global, interdisciplinary, non-partisan organization that seeks to further research and teaching about the nature, causes, and consequences of genocide, and advance policy studies on prevention of genocide. The Association, founded in 1994 by...


Articles

  • The Genocide in Darfur is Not What It Seems Christian Science Monitor
  • (in Spanish) Aizenstatd, Najman Alexander. "Origen y Evolución del Concepto de Genocidio". Vol. 25 Revista de Derecho de la Universidad Francisco Marroquín 11 (2007). ISSN 1562-2576 http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1728522
  • No Lessons Learned from the Holocaust? Assessing Risks of Genocide and Political Mass Murder since 1955 American Political Science Review. Vol. 97, No. 1. February 2003.
  • Harff, B. and T. R. Gurr (1988). "Toward Empirical Theory of Genocides and Politicides: Identification and Measurement of Cases since 1945." International Studies Quarterly 32: 359-371.
  • What Really Happened in Rwanda? Christian Davenport and Allan C. Stam.
  • Reyntjens, F. (2004). "Rwanda, Ten Years On: From Genocide to Dictatorship." African Affairs 103(411): 177-210.
  • Brysk, Alison. 1994. “The Politics of Measurement: The Contested Count of the Disappeared in Argentina.” Human Rights Quarterly 16: 676-92.
  • Davenport, C. and P. Ball (2002). "Views to a Kill: Exploring the Implications of Source Selection in the Case of Guatemalan State Terror, 1977-1996." Journal of Conflict Resolution 46(3): 427-450.
  • Krain, M. (1997). "State-Sponsored Mass Murder: A Study of the Onset and Severity of Genocides and Politicides." Journal of Conflict Resolution 41(3): 331-360.

Books

  • Ball, P., P. Kobrak, and H. Spirer (1999). State Violence in Guatemala, 1960-1996: A Quantitative Reflection. Washington, D.C.: American Association for the Advancement of Science.
  • Corradi, Juan, Patricia Weiss Fagen, and Manuel Antonio Garreton, eds. 1992. Fear at the Edge: State Terror and Resistance in Latin America. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Elliot, G. (1972). Twentieth Century Book of the Dead. New York, C. Scribner.
  • Levene, M. (2005). Genocide in the Age of the Nation State. New York, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Mamdani, M. (2001). When Victims Become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press.
  • Staub, Ervin (1989). The roots of evil: The origins of genocide and other group violence. New York: Cambridge University Press. 978-0521-42214-7
  • Staub, Ervin (2011). Overcoming Evil: Genocide, violent conflict and terrorism. New York: Oxford University Press. 978-0-19-538204-4|366 KB}}, report by Minority Rights Group International, 2006

  • Rummel, R. J. (1990) Lethal Politics: Soviet Genocides and Mass Murders 1917-1987, Rutgers, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.

  • Rummel, R. J.(1991) China's Bloody Century: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900. Rutgers, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.

  • Rummel, R. J.(1992) Democide: Nazi Genocide and Mass Murder. Rutgers, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.

  • Rummel, R. J.(1994) Death by Government: Genocide and Mass Murder in the Twentieth Century, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.

  • Rummel, R. J.(1997) Statistics of Democide. Center on National Security and Law, University of Virginia, 1997: entire. Republished by Lit Verlag, MŸster, Germany in 1998 and distributed in North America by Transaction Publishers.

  • Rummel, R. J.(1997). Power Kills. New Brunswick, Transaction Publishers.

  • Schmid, A. P. (1991). Repression, State Terrorism, and Genocide: Conceptual Clarifications. State Organized Terror: The Case of Violent Internal Repression. P. T. Bushnell. Boulder, Colo., Westview Press: x, 312 p.
  • Van den Berghe, P. L. (1990). State Violence and Ethnicity. Niwot, Colo., University of Colorado Press.

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