Genocides start because of the conflict between people of same race or religion attempting to displace the different race or religion. Conflicting interests between individuals from different race or religion can result to genocides. In the 20th century, over 250 million people have lost their lives due to genocides. Millions of people are left at risk of the exposure due to increased incidences of mass violence. Data and knowledge that indicates the long-term mental health effects that come with the exposure to the genocide remains scattered. Genocides have led to mass violence and displacement of people since it stirs conflict against communities.
Impact of Genocide in the 20th Century.
Genocides have caused many negative effects in the 20th century. The health status of the population exposed to genocides continues to deteriorate. The mental health impact of the exposed individuals has been left under very serious conditions. Most of the people continue to suffer from trauma due to loss of lives of members of their families.
The Nagasaki and Hiroshima genocide has resulted to massive environmental disasters. The bombings have exposed people to inhale dangerous gases that interfere with the functioning of their body. Women in Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan give birth to children with disabilities because of the dangerous gases that continue to affect the new generations. The economy of the country is affected because of high levels of unproductivity of the disabled people and the destruction of agricultural land. The health sector also requires huge amounts of money for care, treatment, and prevention of negative effects of health (Olivier et.al, 1982).
Over the years, the population continues to suffer from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. When the mental health impact is assessed, it is realized that the affected populations experiences high levels of morbidity and mortality rates. In the Rwandan genocide, in 1994, women were brutality raped and the HIV/AIDS virus affected the survivors. The women with the virus died leaving a huge number of orphans who have problems with accessing education (Miller & Rasco, 2004).
Programs developed to prevent genocide
In order to mitigate the problems that are as a result of genocide, various programs were engaged. Such programs include peace and reconciliation programs, early warning program, Conflict transformation program, international courts for effective punishments and stand forced for rapid intervention. The United Nations Security Council developed the Early Warning System that can identify the vulnerable areas, where ethnic conflict and genocide can occur. For instance, International Campaign to End Genocide was established to present the current policy option on intervention and prevention. For example, Program on International Policy Attitudes conducts polls on the issues surrounding the genocides so that effective measures can be undertaken. A Global Youth Connect program was developed to engage youths in promotion and protection of human rights. The program assisted in preventing and minimizing the conflicts, healing traumatized and divided communities using the youths.
Other programs such as Southern Poverty Center’s Teaching and Search for the Common Grounds were established to provide non-violent intervention before genocide. On the religion perceptive, Church, Mosque, Synagogues, and temples were engaged to solve the problem of religion division (Miller & Rasco, 2004). Where there was ethnic division, educational systems were used to enhance tolerance, reconciliation and to humanize the “other” groups in the community to be like “us.”
The international courts such as International Criminal Court (ICC) provided programs that were aimed at punishing the masterminds of the genocides. The ICC program was established to ensure that crime against humanity and war crimes must come to end. The ICC tries the proprietors of the genocide.
Motivations behind genocide
The motives behind genocides include convenience, revenge, simple fear and he fear of pollution.
Despite the conflicts being costly, long-term revenge tactics continue to prevail in the society. The effects results to loss of lives and massive destruction of property of the humiliated group. At certain point, it makes the point when the dominant and powerful group aims at wiping out the weak group to bring the conflict to end (Prunier, 1995). In most instances, the conflicts persist and the intentions of the genocides are outweighed by the benefits, an example being the Norman conquest of England.
The new generations imaginations about the humiliations and defeats of their ancestors affect their memories. These memories lead to genocidal actions when they gain political power and zeal. Revenge also comes by due to hurt pride (Olivier et.al, 1982). A group who feels that their honor is interfered with may take actions to carry out mass killings against the opponent. The genocidal actions make sense if perceived from a utilitarian perspective. Rational reasoning accommodates for the genocidal actions to protect the honor.
Fear of Pollution
Fear of pollution is perhaps the extreme motivation for genocide. It exists on the ideas that a target group threatens the power of the opponent group. The fear that arises between the groups is compacted and the outsiders cannot fully understand it. An example of the fear of pollution is the Hitler's fear of Jews. Hitler claimed that, “Blood mixture and the resultant drop in racial level is the sole cause of the dying out of old cultures; for men do not perish as a result of lost wars, but by the loss of that force of resistance which is contained only in pure blood.” The Jews feared that Hitler aimed at wiping out the Aryan race and this could have led to genocide.
Successful and unsuccessful interventions
One of the successful interventions that were used to mitigate the issues of genocide included early stage of internal welfare. The ethnic and revolutionary interventions reduce the civil war that in most cases results to genocidal violence, as a way to abolish the opponent supporters. The political, diplomatic instruments were engaged to offset the armed conflict, focusing on the governments and rebels (Olivier et.al, 1982). For instance, in 1990s Russia engaged into an intervention by appending withdrawal of Russian Forces in the case of Baltic States.
The other unsuccessful intervention for the genocide included Military intervention, which is also used as a preventive response. For example, the Extreme clan-targeted violence in Somalia was solved through the military intervention. In 1992, the UN and US military intervention interrupted the violence cycle as a way of preventing the issues (Prunier, 1995). As a result, the military intervention became part of violence. However, some of the military interventions succeeded. For instance, the Bangladesh genocide in 1970 was mitigated through the intervention of the Indian Army. The international forces interventions were also successful in the Cold War.
Kiernan, B., & Yale Center for International and Area Studies (2005). Genocide Studies Program. New Haven, CT: Genocide Studies Program, Yale University.
Miller, K. E., & Rasco, L. M. (2004). The mental health of refugees: ecological approaches to healing and adaptation. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Olivier, L., Darlow, M., Bloomberg, C., & Thames Video Collection (1982). Genocide. New York, NY: HBO Video.
Prunier, G. (1995). The Rwanda crisis: History of a genocide. New York: Columbia University Press.