Genocide is considered a crime against humanity under international law and it can be committed either in whole or in part, with the intent to destroy a given group. According to the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide Article III (CPPCG), the following acts are punishable: “genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide; direct and public incitement to commit genocide; attempt to commit genocide; and complicity in genocide.” Genocide is a social evil that once committed in one place, the effects are not only felt by the victims but also spill to the global community in the socio-economic and political spheres.
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The following are some of the global impacts of genocide. First, genocide fuels breakdown in international relations due to violence witnessed, leading to reduced international aid, food and medicine donations, and the presence of NGOs that are important in a country’s reconstruction (Truth-IT, 2011). The strained international relations cause other countries and global markets dependent on products from that country to experience shortages or skyrocketing commodity prices, which negatively affect the global economy.
Secondly, the occurrence of genocide mostly imprints irreparable damage on the country’s reputation in the international scene, for example, now several decades after the Nazi genocide on the Jews, Germany is still a suspect, with other nations watching over its culture due to previous pro-Nazi beliefs (Truth-IT, 2011). The Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia, Srebrenica genocide, and Rwandan genocide still have a similar impact on the reputation of their countries’ names on the international scene. Thus, genocide stains a country’s reputation in the international community to an extent that it is sometimes very difficult to clean. The country’s reputation matters a lot in the international co-operations, investments, and trade prospects.
Thirdly, the genocide has adverse effects on the country’s social and economic systems thus the international community has to intervene in the reconstruction of the country and the peacekeeping initiatives. For example, the post-1994 Kagame regime in Rwanda became more of a symbol for overseas development assistance and foreign investment, receiving more than half a billion dollars in foreign aid in 2005 only (Jones, 2010, P.589). The post-conflict periods are marked with increased donor agencies, which eventually influence the country’s political and educational systems. Earlier, Rwanda relied on donor community from France and Belgium, but the post-conflict period has seen a shift to new partnerships such as UK Department for International Development (DFID), with each donor bringing new changes that have led Rwanda to shift its education to British model and join Commonwealth league (Schweisfurth, 2006, P. 698). Thus, through these newfound partnerships, the global pattern of cooperation and trade patterns have emerged.
Moreover, genocide kills several thousand or even millions of people, leading a country to lack sufficient manpower to sustain its economy; thus, it has to rely on the global markets for manpower. For example, post-genocide Rwanda has imported many expatriates from around the world, especially educationists from neighboring countries to fuel the recovery of its educational system and economy (Schweisfurth, 2006). Lastly, genocides create a mass community of refugees, some of whom are even permanent refugees placing a lot of strain on neighboring countries’ resources. The refugees heavily rely on the international community’s goodwill, thus, they make the global governments pay heavy prices for their upkeep and in soliciting solutions to their problem. On a lighter note, these funds could otherwise be used to fuel the global economy.
- CPPCG. (1948). Article III.
- Jones, A. (2010). Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction. NY: Taylor & Francis.
- Schweisfurth, M. (2006). Global and cross‐national influences on education in post‐genocide Rwanda. Oxford Review of Education, Vol. 32, Issue 5, p.697-709.