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Genocide is intentional action to destroy a people (usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group) in whole or in part. The hybrid word "genocide" is a combination of the Greek word γένος ("race, people") and the Latin suffix -caedo ("act of killing"). The term genocide was coined by Raphael Lemkin in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe.

The United Nations Genocide Convention, which was established in 1948, defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such" including the killing of its members, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately imposing living conditions that seek to "bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part", preventing births, or forcibly transferring children out of the group to another group.


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Japanese internment camp in British Columbia.jpg
In 1942, internment of Japanese Canadians occurred when over 22,000 Japanese Canadians from British Columbia were evacuated and interned in the name of "national security". This decision followed the events of the Japanese invasions of British Hong Kong and Malaya, the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and the subsequent Canadian declaration of war on Japan during World War II. This forced relocation subjected many Japanese Canadians to government-enforced curfews and interrogations, job and property losses, and forced repatriation to Japan.

Beginning after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and lasting until 1949, Japanese Canadians were stripped of their homes and businesses and sent to internment camps and farms in the B.C. interior and across Canada. The internment and relocation program was funded in part by the sale of property belonging to this forcefully displaced population, which included fishing boats, motor vehicles, houses, and personal belongings.



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Vahakn Norair Dadrian (Armenian: Վահագն Տատրեան; May 26, 1926 – August 2, 2019) was an Armenian-American sociologist and historian, born in Turkey, professor of sociology, historian, and an expert on the Armenian Genocide. He was one of the early scholars of the academic study of genocide and recognized as one of the key thinkers on the Holocaust and genocide.



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Left pointing double angle quotation mark sh3.svg "We are living in a time of the trivialization of the word 'Holocaust,' What happened to the Jews cannot be compared with all the other crimes. Every Jew had a death sentence without a date." Right pointing double angle quotation mark sh3.svg — Simon Wiesenthal, AP Interview, 1999


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International prosecution of genocide (ad hoc tribunals)

It is commonly accepted that, at least since World War II, genocide has been illegal under customary international law as a peremptory norm, as well as under conventional international law. Acts of genocide are generally difficult to establish, for prosecution, since intent, demonstrating a chain of accountability, has to be established. International criminal courts and tribunals function primarily because the states involved are incapable or unwilling to prosecute crimes of this magnitude themselves.

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International prosecution of genocide (International Criminal Court)

To date all international prosecutions for genocide have been brought in specially convened international tribunals. Since 2002, the International Criminal Court can exercise its jurisdiction if national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute genocide, thus being a "court of last resort," leaving the primary responsibility to exercise jurisdiction over alleged criminals to individual states. Due to the United States concerns over the ICC, the United States prefers to continue to use specially convened international tribunals for such investigations and potential prosecutions.[1]

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