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“The Persistence of Genocide” by David Rieff

What are some of the defects of the task force’s report on genocide?

The task force report on genocide has failed to offer survivors appropriate solutions that can help them cope with their trauma. Several genocide reports have always used the phrase; ‘Never Again’, since the Holocaust. However, genocide and mass murder crimes have continued to occur in various parts of the world. The task force report has not proposed effective ways in which perpetrators of crimes against humanity can be compelled to account for their actions.

Large scale atrocities have occurred in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America (Rieff, 2011). The task force report has not offered effective solutions that prevent acts of genocide and mass murder from occurring.

The task force report should have engaged with repressive regimes to ask them to reduce incidents of human rights against their citizens. The report has not offered an effective way through which human rights abuses in conflict zones can be monitored and addressed (Rieff, 2011). The international community needs to be made aware of situations that could easily lead to mass murders and genocides in conflict zones. The task force report needs to find ways to deal with these shortcomings because the solutions it proposes are ineffective.

What should the international community do to prevent genocide?

The international community should put in place reliable monitoring and warning systems in major conflict areas across the world. Countries need to increase their efforts in providing humanitarian aid to vulnerable civilians stuck in dangerous conflict zones. Genocide crimes need to be taken more seriously by all countries in the world (Rieff, 2011). The UN needs to ask its member states to formulate stronger measures that prevent the occurrence of genocides and mass murders. The international community needs to put in place effective policies for resolving conflicts in war-torn countries.

The conflict resolution methods used should encourage dialogue between warring parties to reduce bloodshed and violence. The UN needs to have a standby force that reacts to the humanitarian crisis in different parts of the world whenever they happen. Military interventions can help to reduce the mass massacre of defenseless people who survive at the mercy of brutal warmongers. Many conflicts in the world are caused by power struggles, discrimination against minorities, and the struggle over how valuable natural resources are to be shared. Therefore, the international community needs to pass crucial resolutions that protect civilians from getting harmed (Rieff, 2011).

What is the definition of genocide?

Genocide is an act that affects the lives of people that are meant to endure it. International human rights organizations categorize genocide into two forms. These are mental genocide and physical genocide. Mental genocide takes place when a person comes up with a motive to eliminate a group of people who have similar national, racial, religious, or ethnic backgrounds. The planning, inciting, and funding of these activities makes such an individual bear the greatest responsibility for genocide crimes that are committed afterward (Rieff, 2011).

The physical aspect of genocide occurs when an organized group of people target another group of people with similar national, racial, religious, or ethnic backgrounds with the intention of eliminating them. Killing, bodily or mental damage, the imposition of harsh living conditions, restricting reproduction in the targeted group, and the forcible separation of children from their parents are all genocide crimes. Perpetrators are punished if they are found to have conspired, incited, harmed, or attempted to harm genocide victims. People in authority who are found to have neglected their duties during the occurrence of these crimes are also liable for prosecution (Rieff, 2011).


Rieff, D. (2011). The persistence of genocide. Hoover Institution Policy Review, no.165. Web.

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