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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Ethnic Cleansing

Robin Geiß, Asli Ozcelik

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 18 August 2022

Gross violations — Ethnic cleansing

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 Ethnic cleansing—notwithstanding a number of definitional ambiguities that will be explained further below—refers to various policies or practices aimed at the creation of an ethnically homogenous geographic area through the displacement of an ethnic group from that particular area. The origin of the term ethnic cleansing is not clearly established. The language resembles expressions used by the National Socialists in their ‘racial hygiene’ programmes (‘Säuberung’, ‘judenrein’). Between the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War (1947–91), the...
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