This month marks the 70th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This is a foundational piece of international law that was born out of the mass atrocities committed by the Nazi regime against European Jews during the Second World War.
Despite the passage of time, we can still find inspiration in the example of Raphael Lemkin. After fleeing to the United States when he lost his family to the Holocaust, Lemkin campaigned for the establishment of an international law to define and forbid genocide. When his resolution proposing the Genocide Convention was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, it became the UN’s first human rights treaty.