Defined: Genocide

Defined: Genocide

Pop quiz!

What is by and large considered the worst crime known to man? Well, there’s quite a few actually, and before we run too far down that road, we’ll just give you the answer:


This word gets used a lot in activist circles, but what does it really mean? And where did it come from, anyway?

‘Genocide’ came into vogue – or out of, so to speak – in the 1940s after the Holocaust. With its linguistic roots in the Greek, it literally means the extermination of a race. With its historic roots in response to the darkest time in human history, it should never be taken lightly.

The legal definition of genocide, according to the United Nations, is:

…any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in
whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as
(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, Article II

Camps and gas chambers are not necessary for a genocide to be happening. There are many, many ways of attempting to eradicate a people. Think about the Janjaweed burning villages and killing in Darfur. Think about the Hutu slaughtering the Tutsi in Rwanda. Think about the forced marching of the Armenians.

We know, you would rather not think about it. We would rather not have to think about it either.

So would the victims.

Genocide is a game of cat and mouse to the perpetrator. Even worse, more often than not, the fat cat leader who is commanding the genocide sits back and orders his cronies to do the dirty work. Though indicted on counts of genocide (among others), Sudan’s Bashir enjoys a posh life of a world leader while his militia burns, tortures, rapes, and kills the people of Darfur. Bashir never gets his hands dirty.

Apparently, the perpetrators don’t want to think to much about it, either.

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About Us

Welcome to End Impunity. A campaign to stop mass atrocities going unpunished, seek prosecution of the perpetrators, restore dignity to the victims, and provide healing to the affected communities.