Genocide &
Mass Crimes

Some of the dead were suffocated with plastic bags which lie next to their bodies. Bullet holes are clearly visible in their skulls. My shoes are caked with brownish mud, and it is raining. I hear the cries of mothers who have lost their sons, of wives who have lost their husbands.”
- Gregory Weeks

So many cases of genocide have passed unchallenged that perpetrators do not believe they will ever be held accountable. In fact, there has been a consistent pattern by the international community neither to intervene nor to take seriously the implications of grave human rights abuses that do not directly affect the interests of individual states.

The concept of a Responsibility To Protect (R2P), first developed by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty in 2001 and pioneered by Canada, was developed to change this situation. To date, however, there has been little discussion, much less an implementation of this concept at the international level.

Efforts are needed to find answers about the question of whether modern human rights are currently failing, not only in the developed world but also in the developing world.

Genocide and Mass crimes suggests that human rights are not merely a philosophical concept to which we should pay lip service. These rights must be upheld through individual moral and ethical stances.  For if we do not believe in human values, are we truly human? Each one of us has a chance to play a part in the battle to end human rights abuses. We have to be eloquent, for the dead can no longer speak for themselves. Someone must do this for them.

Some of the dead were suffocated with plastic bags which lie next to their bodies. Bullet holes are clearly visible in their skulls. My shoes are caked with brownish mud, and it is raining. I hear the cries of mothers who have lost their sons, of wives who have lost their husbands.

The Definition of Genocide, according to the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, reads as follows:

Article 2 : any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Genocide and Mass Crimes has been widely occurring in modern times including Turkish crimes against Armanians, Holocaust, Rwanda, Former Yugoslavia, East-Timor, and Cambodia. “Will we do better next time?” The next genocide is already happening, and the world is nearly silent as it has been since 2003, turning its back on the mass crimes, rapes, and atrocities of the Janjaweed militias in the Darfur region of Sudan. The Government of Sudan continues to kill its own people, and still, there has been no intervention. Apparently, an international community that will stop human rights abuses remains very far from any country on earth.

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