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08/19/13

Genocide and its relationship to Human Rights

Source: 12Petals Media Group

Genocide is the deliberate and systematic eradication or mass killing of a group or large population identified by the perpetrators. It is the large- scale violation of human rights


Stopping/Preventing Genocide and Mass Atrocities
Cherishing Cultural Diversity and Human Rights Principles

Our world is comprised of numerous nations with distinct languages, esteemed cultures, unique religions, and so forth. The principled account for any nation’s struggle in establishing human rights-based society is the inalienable right of liberty for all humanity. And for a peaceful world, cultural diversity and human rights need to be cherished and advocated.

From a human rights perspective, the embracing of wide-ranging cultural wealth needs to be a significant aspect for the development of strong communities and for the safeguarding of human rights principles.

Regrettably, the practice of mass killing, annihilation, and collective violence has been widespread, and these dreadful acts and measures are taken against certain groups of people defined by their race, culture, ethnicity, religion, and political affiliation.

In 1944 (after World war II), the term genocide was commonly used to define a particularly outrageous crime of violence against humanity. Genocide is "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, caste, religious, or national group", [1] Under international law [2], genocide is declared as a crime whether committed in time of peace or of war.

Today, genocide is increasingly seen as part of human rights and international humanitarian law. The International Criminal Court, as a permanent tribunal, prosecutes individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression. The individual perpetrator will be punished ‘whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials, or private individuals.’ [3]

The 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) - Article 2 [4] and Article 6 of the International Criminal Court Statute [5] define genocide as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcefully transferring children of the group to another group.

For better understanding of government murder and act of violence, Genocide scholars also offer their definitions of genocide. [6] Examples are:

Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn [7] - “Genocide as 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.”

Steven T. Katz [8] - “The concept of genocide applies only when there is an actualized intent, however successfully carried out, to physically destroy an entire group (as such a group is defined by the perpetrators.)"

How can we prevent genocide, mass killing, and collective violence?

Dr. Ervin Staub, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst [9] has a fine sensible view. Below you find an excerpt of his recommendation:

“To prevent group violence may require the healing of wounds due to past victimization, reconciliation, and the resolution of conflict between antagonistic groups. Changes in elements of a group's culture are also important. Without prevention, great social changes and other contemporary conditions make frequent future group violence probable.

The more the basic physical and psychological needs of groups of people are satisfied by constructive means, the less likely it is that psychological and social processes that lead to group violence arise. But without significant efforts at prevention, group violence is likely to become more widespread.” [10] (Please see the reference section for the link to full article.)

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. [11]

For prevention, it is prudent to recognize the stages of genocidal process, influences leading to genocide. According to Gregory H. Stanton (President, Genocide Watch), “Prevention of genocide requires a structural understanding of the genocidal process. Genocide has eight stages or operational processes.” [12]

Stages of Genocide: 1). Classification, 2). Symbolization, 3). Dehumanization, 4). Organization, 5). Polarization, 6). Preparation, 7). Extermination, and 8). Denial

For a more in-depth understanding of these stages, please visit here:

http://www.genocidewatch.org/aboutgenocide/8stagesofgenocide.html
Genocide is a crime. And this heinous act is the gravest crime against humanity. In addition to genocide, the following violent and measured acts can also be considered mass violation of human rights:

Your viewpoint is very important to 12Petals Media Group. Please share your view and thoughts on these themes.

References:

  1. Funk, T. Marcus (2010). Victims' Rights and Advocacy at the International Criminal Court. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. [1].
  2. International law:
  3. The International criminal court:
  4. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide:
  5. The International Criminal Court Statute, Article 6:
  6. Genocide Definitions
  7. Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn:
  8. Steven T. Katz:
  9. Ervin Staub
  10. The origins and prevention of genocide, mass killing, and other collective violence by Dr. Ervin Staub
  11. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
  12. Stages of genocide, influences leading to genocide, and efforts to prevent it by Gregory H. Stanton

Persian translation of this advocacy/outreach project can be seen here.

Acknowledgement and Credits:
Project Development:
By: 12Petals Media group

Artwork Credit:
Graphic Designer/Artist: Anna Felisha Ott
Image Production By: 12Petals Media Group, Genocide & Human Rights. 2013

Special thanks are extended to all those who keep supporting and contributing to 12Petals’ culture of human rights and responsibilities collaborative advocacy projects.

About 12Petals: 12Petals Media Group strives to be a union of visual artists, musicians, filmmakers, cinematographers, playwrights, social entrepreneurs and more, all coming together to produce inspired multimedia pieces that promote and encourage respect for those rights protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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