Khushboo Chauhan, Assistant Professor

Khushboo Chauhan

The Armenian Genocide: A Victim of the discrepancy between International Law and International Politics?

All genocides in the history of this world have not only aimed at the physical destruction of the members of the target group but have also tried to erase all traces of the targeted group’s identity through forced assimilation. This is further achieved by also deleting all traces related to the population which has either been massacred or driven away. Surprisingly, though there are a number of such conflicts which can easily be identified as genocides under the principles of international law, specially under the United Nations Genocide Convention (UNGA), not every such conflict has or is being recognized as one. The Armenian Genocide is one of the biggest example of this failure along with a number of other similar incidents.

The Ottoman Empire’s widespread persecution of the Christian population constitutes a form of genocide as there was a deliberate and systematic campaign of massacre, torture, abduction, deportation, impoverishment and cultural and ethnic destruction. The established principles of international law don’t seem to go hand in hand with international politics though, as the international community has been hesitant to recognize this conflict as a form of genocide. The paper aims to study and analyse firstly, whether is it so? and secondly, if yes then why is it so? The emphasis being on understanding the discrepancy between international law and international politics which leads to certain conflicts like Holocaust being universally identified as genocides whereas incidents such as the Armenian conflict not being universally accepted as a genocide even today. The paper will elaborate on the similarities between these two incidents and dig deep into the reasons why these two hold a different status where recognition is concerned regardless of the similarities if any.