The term – genocide – is used to refer to a crime, the essence of which lies in the deliberate extermination of different cultural and ethnic groups. Nowadays, confirmed evidence of such actions are condemned and punished according to the norms of criminal law in Europe, Canada, the USA and others.
Genocide – what is it?
In legal practice, the term was introduced by R. Lemkin. He explained the word “genocide” as intentional actions aimed at exterminating the following groups of people:
In modern international practice, the meaning of the term remains unchanged. Genocide refers to actions that resulted in not only to physical destruction but also to the eradication of cultural values, including languages. Legal practice to recognize and punish such crimes is confusing. Often the fact of a violation is not recognized by a number of states, in some cases, condemnation of such affairs takes place decades after they have been committed.
Signs of genocide
Raphael Lemkin highlighted the main differences in this type of crime compared to others. However, the simplicity and accessibility of his arguments and the fact that most lawyers agreed with them do not make it easier to prove that this is genocide and not another violation of the criminal code. The UN condemns the extermination of groups, but at the same time, it rarely incriminates such actions.
What is genocide and what are its distinctive features?
- Killing or causing harm to the health of group members;
- Forced restriction of procreation;
- Creating living conditions that quickly lead to the extinction of group participation;
- Bringing harm to children;
- Destruction of the cultural heritage and language of the group.
Genocide – causes and consequences
Historians and lawyers often discuss the question of this phenomenon’ origin. The causes of the genocide, in their opinion, are often similar. Even though the cases may relate to different time periods. The main causes are the following:
- religious differences.
- territorial location of the place of residence of the group.
- national and social differences.
The methods of genocide lead to truly terrible consequences. The history of mankind knows many facts of such actions, for example, the deportation of Christians from the territory of the Ottoman Empire, the destruction of the Tutsi tribe in Rwanda. Almost every time a crime involves the mass murder of people, the deliberate extermination of cultural values and linguistic heritage.
Genocide in modern society
Political and scientific figures unanimously argue that such violations of rights are found in our day. Genocide and its manifestations in modern society in some situations differ from world-famous events, such as, for example, St. Bartholomew’s Night. Nowadays, it is increasingly becoming not direct, but indirect. But it, according to experts, is even more dangerous. Economic and informational wars often result in the standardization of worldview and behavior.
What is indirect genocide?
- Changes in natural conditions;
- Economic and informational impact.
Not all scientists admit that this kind of crime exists. And their opinion is also based on statistics and historical aspects. The split among specialists in discussing this issue has lasted until now; none of the points of view has a proper evidence base. Therefore, the definition of an indirect type of crime is blurry. A number of scientists have an opinion that it is necessary to significantly limit the human influence on genetics and nature, others do not agree with this. After all, DNA research and changing living conditions are sometimes necessary.