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Genocide is a term used to describe planned mass killing; Genocide is the “crime of crimes” because it is the most systematic, designed, and widespread destruction of a people possible. In that sense, it is morally the worst crime against humanity. After lengthy debate over the definition of genocide and ample compromise on how the international community should define it, the United Nations adopted the Genocide Convention on December 9, 1948, and in doing so set genocide in the following manner: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group, as such:

The following acts

  1. Killing members of the group
  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group
  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part
  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group
  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

This definition is, at the same time, comprehensive and extremely narrow. As a result, it is not surprising that over the years, many scholars have proposed alternative definitions of genocide.

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