However, as the events in Rwanda have shown, attempts to stop genocide have often been haphazard and/or non-existent.
The framework for a worldwide concern with human rights is contained within the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" that was adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948. The preamble states the following:
Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
(United Nations, 1948)
This is the background to all present attempts at preserving human rights across the world. Specific definitions of genocide were created in 1951 as one of the first acts of the new United Nations. Genocide was defined as "killing. . . causing seriously bodily harm" a group "with intent to destroy, in whole or part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group" (United Nations, 1951) . This would seem somewhat simple and clear in terms of definition, but as events this that time have shown this is not necessarily the case.
The genocide in Rwanda occurred over about a 100 day period starting in April 1994. First, the scale of the genocide that occurred is quite astonishing. Between April and June about 800,000 Rwandans were killed. In an of itself the killing could