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Chapter

Cover Human Rights

Genocide and Human Rights  

Scott Straus

This chapter discusses the correlation between genocide and human rights. It examines Raphael Lemkin's concept of genocide which resulted in an international treaty on the punishment and prevention of genocide. The UN Genocide Convention became the law that embodied the landmark treaty on genocide. Additionally, the chapter explores the social scientific theories on why genocide occurs. Classic theories on genocide tend to highlight intergroup antipathy, authoritarianism, and hardship. The chapter also references the historical background and international responses to the genocides recorded in Rwanda and Darfur. It reflects on the possibilities and limits of the Genocide Convention as a human rights instrument.

Chapter

Cover Human Rights: Politics and Practice

20. Genocide and Human Rights  

Scott Straus

This chapter examines the ramifications of genocide for human rights. Genocide is one of the most extreme forms of human rights violations, but its definition has been the subject of considerable debate. In recent years, there have been efforts to develop a better policy on genocide prevention. This chapter evaluates various definitions of genocide as well as some of the weak points of the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide, also known as the Genocide Convention. It also discusses theories of why genocide occurs and concludes with case studies of Rwanda and Darfur, both of which describe the background to the mass violence in both locations, as well as the international responses.