Writing about genocide, Leo Kuper noted: “the word is new, the crime ancient” (1981, 9). While the annals of history are replete with mass killings and the deliberate, virtual decimation of communities, the term “genocide,” which is derived from the Greek word genos, meaning “race” or “people,” and the Latin word cīdere, “to kill,” was first articulated by Raphael Lemkin in 1944. In Axis Rule in Occupied Europe he defined genocide as “a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves” (1944, 79). Later adopted in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG), the definition was modified to include an intent to destroy “in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group,” involving either actual physical destruction or the creation of conditions that would ultimately undermine the viability of the group’s continued existence, such as preventing reproduction or forcible transfer of children of one group to another (U.N. General Assembly 1948, 174). The CPPCG has since spawned new statutes and protocols to account for additional forms of mass atrocities and...

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