1. definition
  2. examples and/or illustrations
  3. other useful sources
  4. bibliography



  1. The deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group.

Dictionary.com  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/genocide?s=t   Accessed 28/06/2012

  1. The systematic and widespread extermination or attempted extermination of an entire national, racial, religious, or ethnic group
  2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the policy of deliberately killing a nationality or ethnic group
  3. The killing of an entire people or of a very large number of a people.

The Free Dictionary  www.thefreedictionary.com/genocide   Accessed 28/06/2012

  1. genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, 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 ) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

“Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide”. 1948. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/genocide.htm  Accessed 1/07/2012


The Term “GENOCIDE” 

The term “genocide” did not exist before 1944. It is a very specific term, referring to violent crimes committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group. Human rights, as laid out in the US Bill of Rights or the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, concern the rights of individuals.

In 1944, a Polish-Jewish lawyer named Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) sought to describe Nazi policies of systematic murder, including the destruction of the European Jews. He formed the word “genocide” by combining geno-, from the Greek word for race or tribe, with –cide, from the Latin word for killing. In proposing this new term, Lemkin had in mind “a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.” The next year, the International Military Tribunal held at Nuremberg, Germany, charged top Nazis with “crimes against humanity.” The word “genocide” was included in the indictment, but as a descriptive, not legal, term.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Holocaust Encyclopedia, What is Genocide?


Examples and/or Illustrations

Examples of genocide in the last 100 years?

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Holocaust Encyclopedia, Genocide Timeline,

United Nations, Security Council, SC/10663
Security Council, 6778th Meeting (AM)
ICC Prosecutor Says Sudan’s Failure ‘Direct Challenge’ to Council Authority;
Sudan:  Court Referral Not Legitimate, Government Will Focus on Peace Process

United Nations, Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide


Other Useful Sources

Edward Mortimer, Senior Vice-President and Chief Programme Officer, Kaja Shonick Glahn, session director for The Global Prevention of Genocide: Learning from the Holocaust, at The Salzburg Global Seminar, “The Global Prevention of Genocide: Learning from the Holocaust,” Discussion Paper # 11, 2010. The Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Programme.

What is Genocide? http://efchr.mcgill.ca/WhatIsGenocide_en.php?menu=2

World Without Genocide. http://worldwithoutgenocide.org/

Karyn Becker, “Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing,” Model United Nations, 50th Session Issues, Fourth Committee,



Dona, Giorgia. 2010. “Collective suffering and cyber-memorialisation in post-genocide Rwanda,” in M. Broderick and A. Traverso (eds) Trauma, Media, Art: New Perspectives, Newcastle on Tyne Cambridge Scholars Press, pp. 16-35

Jones, Adam. 2010. “Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction”. Second Edition. New York: Routledge

Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity. 3 vols. Edited Howard Adelman and Dinah Shelton. Detroit: Thomson/Gale, 2005. ISBN 0-02-865992-9

Rubinstein, William. D. 2004. “Genocide: a history”. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited

Adelman, Howard. 1999. “Preventing Genocide: The Case of Rwanda,” In Genocide: Essays Toward Understanding Early-Warning and Prevention, Roger W. Smith, ed. Williamsburg: Virginia: Association of Genocide Scholars

The Path of a Genocide: The Rwanda Crisis from Uganda to Zaire. Edited Howard Adelman and Astri Suhrke. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1999.

Adelman, Howard. 1998. “Early Warning and Prevention: The Case of Rwanda,” In Refugee Rights and Realities: Evolving International Concepts and Regimes. Frances Nicholson, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Adelman, Howard. 1998. Membership and Dismemberment: The Body Politic and Genocide in Rwanda. New York: Columbia University Press, Columbia International Affairs Online

Jonassohn, Kurt and Karin Solveig Bjornson. 1998. “Genocide and Gross Human Rights Violations in Comparative Perspective”. New Jersey: Transaction Publishers


Other related terms:

ethnic cleansing; crimes against humanity; extermination of a people