Disciplines: History, Political Science

Systematic extermination of an ethnic group in whole or in significant part.

The term was coined by Raphael Lemkin.

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, enacted by the United Nations in 1951 defines genocide as follows:

"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 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 their group; or
(e) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."

Historical incidents that scholars widely characterize as genocide include the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, the Cambodian Genocide, and the Rwandan Genocide.


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