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Defining an Undeniable Genocide

Hannibal Travis

How the Armenian Genocide helped shape international law and the coining of the term “genocide

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April 2016


Defining an Undeniable Genocide

Legal scholar Hannibal Travis discusses the significance of the Armenian Genocide in shaping international law in the 20th century. In his 1948 draft of the UN Genocide Convention, Raphael Lemkin was the first to give a legal definition to the term “genocide,” citing the Armenian case as an example provided by history of the destruction of an entire nation.  Travis explains that contrary to the false claims made by the Turkish government for the better part of the last century, the Armenian Genocide is an undeniable historical fact, supported by trials, testimony and documentary evidence, including the Turkish government’s statements in the 1920 Treaty of Sevres accusing the Young Turk regime for widespread massacres and calling for restitution.

Produced by AGBU WebTalks in partnership with the Zoryan Institute.

 


Hannibal Travis is a legal scholar and associate professor of Law at Florida International University. He has published widely on genocide and human rights, specifically the Armenian and Assyrian Genocides. Professor Travis has published one of the first monographs synthesizing decades of empirical research and evidence from the UN archives on the causes of genocide, entitled Genocide, Ethnonationalism, and the United Nations: Exploring the Causes of Mass Killing Since 1945 as well as a monograph containing the first comprehensive history of physical and cultural genocide in the Middle East and North Africa, entitled Genocide in the Middle East: The Ottoman Empire, Iraq, and Sudan.