Genocide is any systematic killing of substantial numbers of people on the basis of ethnicity, religion, political opinion, social status or other identity groups. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG) provides a more specific definition, "any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
- Killing members of the group;
- Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
- Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
- Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
The CPPCG was signed into force of international law in 1951, but was not enforced until the 1990s. In 1988, the United States was the last permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to sign the treaty.