Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

The Contracting Parties,

Having considered the declaration made by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 96 (I) dated 11 December 1946 that genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world,

Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity, and

Being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international co-operation is required,

Hereby agree as hereinafter provided: 

Article I: The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish. 

Article II: In the present Convention, 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. 

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CAUSES AND CONDITIONS OF GENOCIDE

Social scientists and scholars have generally organized their understanding of genocide in terms of the political structure within which it takes place, the context in which genocide occurs, the motives of the perpetrator, the nature of the victims, and the stages through which genocide passes.

a) Institutions of government

It is clear from empirical and historical research that democide, including genocide (however defined), are facets of totalitarian systems, and to a lesser extent of authoritarian ones. The degree to which people are not democratically free increases the likelihood of some kind of domestic genocide or democide, as in totalitarian Stalin’s Soviet Union, Hitler’s Germany, and Mao’s Communist China; or fascist Chiang Kai-shek’s China, Franco’s Spain, and Admiral Miklos Horthy’s Hungary; or dictator Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, Idi Amin’s Uganda, and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s Turkey. Those governments that commit virtually no domestic genocide, or other government domestic murder or extermination campaigns, are the modern democracies that recognize civil liberties and political rights. To predict where genocide is likely to occur, look first at the totalitarian governments, and next at the authoritarian ones.

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