What’s “Incitement to Genocide?”

I just learned that this morning there was a conference at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum here in Washington, DC titled “Hate Speech and the Incitement to Genocide”. My boss, who attended it, explained that “incitement to genocide” is the intersection of when hate speech activates action that ends in genocide. The central point of the conference is a truly fascinating notion that explores power dynamics and group psychology and over-arching themes in international war crimes and civil rights. Speakers at the conference included greats such as the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Opinion and Expression Rafael Frank La Rue Lewy, the Ambassador of Norway to the United States Wegger Chr. Strommen, and the UN Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng, among several others.

Interested in learning more about the “incitement to genocide”? Check out the Special Rapporteur on the Right to the Freedom of Opinion and Expression’s most recent report here; take particular note about the “criminalization of expression” on pages 14-16, paragraphs 78-91. Also check out the Holocaust Museum’s Holocaust Encyclopedia entry about the subject here. Finally, see what Physicians for Human Rights is doing to mass atrocities here.

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