Return to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity

U.N.T.S. No. 1021, vol. 78 (1951), p. 277


             CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT
                       OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE

Adopted by Resolution 260 (III) A of the United Nations General Assembly on
9 December 1948.


The Contracting Parties,

Having considered the declaration made by the General Assembly of the
United Nations in its resolution 96 (I) dated 11 December 1946 that
genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and
aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world;

Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great
losses on humanity; and

Being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious
scourge, international co-operation is required;

Hereby agree as hereinafter provided.

Article 1. The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed
in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law
which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

Art. 2. In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts
committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national,
ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

 (a) Killing members of the group;
 (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
 (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to
     bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
 (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
 (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Art. 3. The following acts shall be punishable:

 (a) Genocide;
 (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
 (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
 (d) Attempt to commit genocide;
 (e) Complicity in genocide.

Art. 4. Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in
Article 3 shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible
rulers, public officials or private individuals.

Art. 5. The Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in accordance with
their respective Constitutions, the necessary legislation to give effect to
the provisions of the present Convention and, in particular, to provide
effective penalties for persons guilty of genocide or any of the other acts
enumerated in Article 3.

Art. 6. Persons charged with genocide or any of the other acts enumerated
in Article 3 shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the
territory of which the act was committed, or by such international penal
tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect to those Contracting Parties
which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.

Art. 7. Genocide and the other acts enumerated in Article 3 shall not be
considered as political crimes for the purpose of extradition.

The Contracting Parties pledge themselves in such cases to grant
extradition in accordance with their laws and treaties in force.

Art. 8. Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the
United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations
as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of
genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3.

Art. 9. Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the
interpretation, application or fulfilment of the present Convention,
including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or
any of the other acts enumerated in Article 3, shall be submitted to the
International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the
dispute.

Art. 10. The present Convention, of which the Chinese, English, French,
Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall bear the date of 9
December 1948.

Art. 11. The present Convention shall be open until 31 December 1949 for
signature on behalf of any Member of the United Nations and of any
non-member State to which an invitation to sign has been addressed by the
General Assembly.

The present Convention shall be ratified, and the instruments of
ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United
Nations.

After 1 January 1950, the present Convention may be acceded to on behalf of
any Member of the United Nations and of any non-member State which has
received an invitation as aforesaid.

Instruments of accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of
the United Nations.

Art. 12. Any Contracting Party may at any time, by notification addressed
to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, extend the application of
the present Convention to all or any of the territories for the conduct of
whose foreign relations that Contracting Party is responsible.

Art. 13. On the day when the first twenty instruments of ratification or
accession have been deposited, the Secretary-General shall draw up a
proces-verbal and transmit a copy of it to each Member of the United
Nations and to each of the non-member States contemplated in Article 11.

The present Convention shall come into force on the ninetieth day following
the date of deposit of the twentieth instrument of ratification or
accession.

Any ratification or accession effected subsequent to the latter date shall
become effective on the ninetieth day following the deposit of the
instrument of ratification or accession.

Art. 14. The present Convention shall remain in effect for a period of ten
years as from the date of its coming into force.

It shall thereafter remain in force for successive periods of five years
for such Contracting Parties as have not denounced it at least six months
before the expiration of the current period.

Denunciation shall be effected by a written notification addressed to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Art. 15. If, as a result of denunciations, the number of Parties to the 3
present Convention should become less than sixteen, the Convention shall
cease to be in force as from the date on which the last of these
denunciations shall become effective.

Art. 16. A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made
at any time by any Contracting Party by means of a notification in writing
addressed to the Secretary-General.

The General Assembly shall decide upon the steps, if any, to be taken in
respect of such request.

Art. 17. The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall notify all
Members of the United Nations and the non-member States contemplated in
Article 11 of the following:

 (a) Signatures, ratifications and accessions received in accordance with
     Article 11;
 (b) Notifications received in accordance with Article 12;
 (c) The date upon which the present Convention comes into force in
     accordance with Article 13;
 (d) Denunciations received in accordance with Article 14;
 (e) The abrogation of the Convention in accordance with Article 15;
 (f) Notifications received in accordance with Article 16.

Art. 18. The original of the present Convention shall be deposited in the
archives of the United Nations.

A certified copy of the Convention shall be transmitted to all Members of
the United Nations and to the non-member States contemplated in Article 11.

Art. 19. The present Convention shall be registered by the Secretary-
General of the United Nations on the date of its coming into force.