10 Genocide Warning Signs
Learn to identify genocides before they start, and what measures can be taken to prevent them.
In 1996, Professor Gregory H. Stanton presented a paper identifying 8 stages of genocide and strategies for prevention. He later added two more stages - Discrimination/Stigmatization and Persecution - to his concept. See the stages below and the preventative measures to counteract them. Do you recognize any of these warning signs occurring today?
Stage 1/10 - Classification
A preventative measure for this stage is to promote common identities and actively oppose racist and divisive politicians and parties.
Stage 2/10 - Symbolization
A preventative measure for this stage is to make sure ethnic, religious, racial and national identities do not appear on ID cards and passports. Work to make sure negative or racist words for groups become culturally unacceptable.
Stage 3/10 - Discrimination
The preventative measure for this stage is to pass and enforce laws prohibiting discrimination, and have full citizenship and voting rights for all groups.
Stage 4/10 - Dehumanization
A preventative measure for this stage is to vigorously protest the use of dehumanizing words that refer to people as “filth,” “vermin,” animals or diseases.
Stage 5/10 - Organization
A preventative measure for this stage is to make membership in genocidal groups illegal and demand that their leaders be arrested. Deny visas to leaders of hate groups and freeze their foreign assets. Impose arms embargoes on hate groups and governments supporting ethnic or religious hatred.
Stage 6/10 - Polarization
A preventative measure for this stage is to protest laws or policies that segregate or marginalize groups or deprive whole groups of citizenship rights. Physically protect moderate leaders and demand their release if they are arrested. Oppose coups d’état by extremists.
Stage 7/10 - Preparation
A preventative measure for this stage is for the UN Security Council to warn that it will act.
Stage 8/10 - Persecution
At this stage, a genocide emergency should be declared; international intervention prepared. The preventative measure at this point is to assist victims, sanction persecutors, mobilize humanitarian assistance, and protect refugees.
Stage 9/10 - Extermination
The preventative measure for this stage is rapid and overwhelming armed intervention. Safe areas or refugee escape corridors should be established with heavily armed international protection.
Stage 10/10 - Denial
Preventative measures for this stage include confronting denial with facts, exposing the motivation of the deniers, collecting and preserving evidence, including survivor and witness testimony.