Much criticism has been levelled at the definition of genocide since the Convention was ratified, particularly with regard to the restrictive definition of victim groups. For example, by definition, the murder of social, cultural and political groups is not a crime of genocide. Many social and political scientists have therefore created different terms to describe the mass murder of different groups.
Genocide is a highly controversial word. Why? It is more than just a concept or a tool for historical, political or moral analysis. Rather, it has legal consequences and is therefore treated like Pandora’s Box. In order to get rid of these legal consequences, the term “ethnic cleansing” is often used, which in turn is an inhuman euphemism as it is a term to speak of systematic mass murder without having to use the word genocide. “Ethnic cleansing” is present in some UN documents, but has neither a clear and formal definition nor a legal status.
Concentration Camp in Sachsenhausen, Germany
What can the international community, governments, intergovernmental organisations and non-governmental organisations do to prevent genocide and to build resilience to genocide in at-risk states?
The Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation published a Policy Brief by Dr. Deborah Mayersen with ten practical and evidence based measures towards genocide prevention: http://www.auschwitzinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/AIPR-Brief-Building-Resilience-to-Genocide.pdf