- Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
name = Genocide Convention
long_name = Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
9 December[http://untreaty.un.org/English/TreatyEvent2008/Treaties/list_english.pdf] 1948
location_signed = New York
12 January 1951
signatories = 41
parties = 140 (Complete List)
Secretary-General of the United Nations
Participation in the Genocide ConventionThe Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the
United Nations General Assemblyin December 1948 and came into effect in January 1951. It defines genocidein legal terms, and is the culmination of years of campaigning by lawyer Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term by reference to the Simele massacre, the Holocaust, and the Armenian Genocide. All participating countries are advised to prevent and punish actions of genocide in war and in peacetime. The number of states that have ratified the convention is currently 137.
Definition of genocide
Article 2 of the Convention defines genocide as quotation|...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, Article 2 [http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm Text of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide] , website of the
Article 3 defines the crimes that can be punished under the convention:quotation
: (a) Genocide;: (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;: (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;: (d ) Attempt to commit genocide;: (e) Complicity in genocide.|Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, Article 3
The convention was passed to outlaw actions similar to
the Holocaustby Nazi Germanyduring World War II. The first draft of the Convention included political killings, but the USSR [cite book |author=Robert Gellately & Ben Kiernan |title=The Specter of Genocide: Mass Murder in Historical Perspective |publisher=Cambridge University Press |location=Cambridge, UK |year=2003 |isbn=0521527503 | pages= 267 |url=http://books.google.com/books?id=Ay76mYBLU3sC&pg=PA267&dq=where+Stalin+was+presumably+anxious+to+avoid+his+purges+being+subjected+to+genocidal+scrutiny&ei=spQHR_3wH4PupwLX9JCgDQ&ie=ISO-8859-1&sig=suohkDH9HmLiBxpySx1tf8bEOn8 ] along with some other nations would not accept that actions against groups identified as holding similar political opinions or social status would constitute genocide, [cite book |author=Staub, Ervin |title=The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence |publisher=Cambridge University Press |location=Cambridge, UK |year= |pages= 8|isbn=0-521-42214-0 |url= http://books.google.com/books?id=29u-vt_KgGEC&pg=PA8&lpg=PA8&dq=genocide+political+economic+groups+soviet+union&source=web&ots=uDb44sHgNn&sig=p3cz359teRaU5hdnZD7bImddDP4#PPA8,M1] ] so these stipulations were subsequently removed in a political and diplomatic compromise.
Provisos granting immunity from prosecution for genocide without its consent were made by
Bahrain, Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, the United States, Vietnam, Yemen, and Yugoslavia.Fact|date=August 2008 Prior to its ratification of the convention, the United States Senatewas treated to a speech by Senator William Proxmirein favor of this treaty every day that the Senate was in session between 1967 and 1986.
The first time that the 1948 law was enforced occurred on
September 2, 1998when the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwandafound Jean-Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts of genocide. The lead prosecutor in this case was Pierre-Richard Prosper. Two days later, Jean Kambandabecame the first head of government to be convicted of genocide.
The first state to be in breach the Genocide convention was
Serbia. In the " Bosnia and Herzegovina v. Serbia and Montenegro" case the ICJ presented its judgement on 26 February 2007. It cleared Serbia of direct involvement in genocideduring the Bosnian war, [cite news|url=http://www.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUSL26638724._CH_.2400
publisher=Reuters|title=Serbia cleared of genocide, failed to stop killing |date=
February 26, 2007] but ruled that Belgradedid breach international law by failing to prevent the 1995 Srebrenica genocide, and for failing to try or transfer the persons accused of genocide to the ICTY, in order to comply with its obligations under Articles I and VI of the Genocide Convention, in particular in respect of General Ratko Mladić. [ [http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?sum=667&code=bhy&p1=3&p2=2&case=91&k=f4&p3=5 ICJ:Summary of the Judgment of 26 February 2007 - Bosnia v. Serbia] ] [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/27/world/europe/27hague.html?ref=world Court Declares Bosnia Killings Were Genocide] The New York Times, February 26, 2007. A copy of the ICJ judgement can be found [http://www.icj-cij.org/icjwww/idocket/ibhy/ibhyjudgment/ibhy_ijudgment_20070226_frame.htm here] ]
Human rights abuse
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