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History of the word “Genocide”
In 1944, a Polish-Jewish lawyer
named Raphael Lemkin coined the
He took the Greek word “geno” (race
or tribe) and combined it with the
Latin word “cide”, which means
On December 9th, 1948, the United
Nations approved the Convention on
the Prevention and Punishment of
the Crime of Genocide.
The UN made it an international
crime to commit genocide, with all of
its member nations agreeing to
“undertake to prevent and punish”
Definition of the word “Genocide”
Genocide is defined as any of the following
acts committed with the intent to
destroy, in whole or in part, a national,
ethical, racial or religious group, as
Killing members of the
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
intending to prevent births
in the group
children from the group to
Genocide in Bosnia 1992-1995
In April 1992, Bosnia declared themselves to be an
independent country from Yugoslavia.
The president of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, who was
Serbian, attacked Bosnia, which was made up of mostly
Muslims, who the Serbs viewed as ethnically inferior.
In the capital of Sarajevo, Serbian snipers targeted
innocent civilians, including children (3, 500).
While the UN instructed its troops to do nothing, the Serbs
rounded up Muslims, put the men and boys into makeshift
concentration camps, and raped the women and girls.
President Bill Clinton eventually brokered a peace
agreement in 1995, but the Serbs broke it when they
captured UN troops and forced them to watch as they
selected and slaughtered 8,000 men and boys between the
ages of twelve and sixty and raped mass numbers of
In August of 1995, NATO stepped in and ended the conflict
by bombing the Serbs, but not until the death toll in
Bosnia reached 200,000 Muslims killed, 20,000 missing,
and more than 2,000,000 displaced.
Srebrenica Massacre in Bosnia (http://koz.vianet.ca/boshis112.htm)
Words without deeds violates the moral and
legal obligation we have under the genocide
convention but, more importantly, violates our
sense of right and wrong and the standards we
have as human beings about looking to care
for one another.
• “All that is necessary for evil to triumph
is for good men to do nothing.”