How states sanitise genocide and genocidal acts

In line with the aim of the annual event which aims to raise awareness of genocide so that new generations can understand the causes and recognise the warning signs of such atrocities, this year’s theme is the sanitisation of genocides and genocidal acts.

Wherever and whenever genocidal acts have been committed the perpetrators have made great efforts to conceal, justify or dress up their crimes. Slavery was justified as the white man’s burden, a humanitarian and even divinely mandated mission to civilise people who were sub-human. Colonialism sought legitimacy on the same basis. In their home countries, the champions of these projects were decorated as heroes and histories were woven to beatify them. Even today, bloody imperial adventures such as the occupation of Afghanistan are defended under false pretexts of liberating women, nation building and promoting social progress. Israel continues to justify its brutal occupation of Palestine with the unqualified support of the west on the grounds that it is defending itself and fighting terrorism.

An esteemed panel of speakers is expected this year to address these and other issues.

The UK event will take place on 16 January 2022.

Genocide Memorial Day takes place on the third Sunday of January each year. It was started by IHRC in 2010 to commemorate past and ongoing genocides, and to raise awareness around genocide prevention. Since then events have taken place all over the world.

For the GMD project, the act of remembrance is not limited by the background of either the victims or the perpetrators of any of the genocides.