Genocide and crimes against humanity

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Criminology

Document 1

Genocide involves killing members of these groups; forcible transfer of the children of one group to another group/groups; imposing measures with the aim of preventing births within the group; deliberately inflicting conditions with the intention of causing physical destruction to the group in part or in whole; or causing serious mental or bodily harm to the members of the group (Gaeta 2009). The International Criminal Court defines crimes against humanity as any act committed as part of a systematic or widespread attack intentionally directed against the civilian population (Paust 2000). Some of these acts include: the crimes of apartheid; enforced disappearance of individuals, persecution against a particular group on gender, religious, cultural, ethnic, national, racial, and political grounds; enforced sterilization, forced pregnancy, enforced prostitution, sexual slavery, rape or any other kind of sexual violence of considerable gravity; torture; imprisonment; forcible transfer of populations or deportation; enslavement; extermination; murder; or some other inhumane acts of similar characters knowingly causing mental injury or serious bodily harms or great suffering to the affected population (Paust 2000). It is not possible for genocide and violation of human rights to occur without commitment the antagonistic ideologies and proper preparations with the intention of garnering support for the actions to be carried out or performed by the state (Scheffer 2016). It is necessary to dehumanize victims because the genocidal policies are based on the participation or complicity of the citizens. The target group is clearly identified and classified to give a distinction between ‘them’ and ‘us’. The uses various dehumanizing tactics like terror, coercion, incitement, agitation and propaganda in gaining the complicity of the population to pave the way for mass destruction (Macmanus, Green, Cour Venning and 2015).

Sign up to view the full document!

The aim of this paper is to determine the role played by the pre-existing structures of societies in genocide, the case for Burma and Bosnia. Some of the determinants of genocides and crimes against humanity include the role of elites and political leaders, cultural predisposition, the actions of the bystanders, ideologies, scapegoating and identities, and continuum of destruction and harmful acts. Lastly the paper will provide a conclusion. Instead, the elites and leaders of a nation frequently play a role in intensifying the already existing hostilities among the groups of people. They strive to maintain the hostilities and differences between the groups in status and power (Temoney 2017). The leaders use propaganda in enhancing the fear and devaluation of the other. The propagation of destructive ideologies by the leaders and elites escalates the hostilities and differences between the groups (Mulaj 2017).

Sign up to view the full document!

Besides, the leaders will create various organizations with the intention to use them as the instruments of war and violence. When a subgroup of a society is devalued, it will make it easy for the group to be chosen as an ideological enemy and scapegoated. In some cases, differences in the society may result from mutual devaluation. There are various forms of devaluation among groups (Macmanus, Green, Cour Venning and 2015). Some groups will view others as evil, morally bad or as enemy who deserves to be destroyed. The intense devaluation like antagonism of ideologies can easily result into conflicts and violence between groups (Meierhenrich 2014). This is very common (Macmanus, Green, Cour Venning and 2015). The internal bystanders are influenced by difficult conditions in life and devalue the victims of conflicts and violence and are influenced by various cultural pre-conditions.

Sign up to view the full document!

The passivity changes the bystanders (Temoney 2017). The bystanders are distanced and this increasingly devalue the victims of violence and conflicts and diminish their ability to empathize with the victims. In the end, the bystanders will support the violence and persecution (Trapp 2015). Ideologies, scapegoating and identities Certain social and psychological process causes conflicts and violence between groups. The difficult conditions of life may make individuals to turn to groups for connection and identity (Gaeta 2009). This will lead to scapegoating where one group will blame another group for being responsible for the problems of life (Meierhenrich 2014). They create or adopt ideologies of ideal social arrangement. The scapegoating and ideologies themselves do not improve the conditions of their lives but satisfy the needs for comprehension, connection and identity of reality (Gaeta 2009). Such ideologies propagates higher morality which overrides the conventional morality (Travis 2016).

Sign up to view the full document!

Though humans require visions, particularly during difficult times, when such visions identify enemies who are seen as the obstacles to achieving them, they can become very destructive (Shaw 2013). Rakhines state is among the poorest in Burma although it very rich in the natural resources. Thus, Rohingya is regarded as an additional economic burden to the state given the competition for the available business opportunities and jobs (Macmanus, Green, Cour Venning and 2015). Most of the businesses and jobs in the state are owned by the Burmese elites. A combination of the determinants like the role of elites and political leaders, cultural predisposition, the actions of the bystanders, ideologies, scapegoating and identities, and continuum of destruction and harmful acts (Mulaj 2017). Lastly the paper will provide a conclusion are the main societal structure associated with the genocide and crimes against humanity in both Burma and Bosnia (Macmanus, Green, Cour Venning and 2015).

Sign up to view the full document!

These determinants have also been found to cause genocide and the violation of human rights from the examination of several other case studies. In the case of Burma and Bosnia, these factors have led to the complex situations that results into genocide and the violation of human rights (Temoney 2017). Conclusion In summary, to some extent the pre-existing societal structures determine genocide and violations of human rights in most of our societies especially when they are present in combinations. Shaw, M. Understanding Today's Genocides: The Snare of Analogy.  Global Dialogue (Online), 15(1), p. Paust, J. J.  The UN Genocide Convention: A Commentary. Oxford Commentaries on Interna. Travis, H. Counterinsurgency as Genocidal Intent: From the Ottoman Christians to the Bosnian Muslims. In The Armenian Genocide Legacy (pp.  Netherlands International Law Review, 62(2), pp. Temoney, K.

Sign up to view the full document!

E. Religion and Genocide Nexuses: Bosnia as Case Study.  Religions, 8(6), p.

Sign up to view the full document!

From $10 to earn access

Only on Studyloop

Original template

Downloadable