Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

Genocide Awareness Month – April 2023

Genocide Awareness Month is observed every year in April to share knowledge of what genocide is, genocides that have happened in the past, and learning about the continuing horrors of genocide today. It might be hard for many of us to understand how something as barbaric as genocide, which we’ve mostly read about it in history books and seen in documentaries, can still be happening today. This month, take a few minutes to remember those who lost their lives to genocide and stand up for those suffering these atrocities today.

History of Genocide Awareness Month

April is observed as Genocide Awareness Month as it is associated with many significant dates related to genocide. The 20th century is often called the “Century of Genocide.” Unfortunately, this trend has continued into the 21st century. Many of these tragic events either started in April or have significant events which happened in April. Some of these include the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, the Cambodian Genocide, and the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda. And so, the month of April has been chosen to raise awareness on protecting innocent people, prosecuting the tyrants and perpetrators, preventing future atrocities, and also remembering those who have suffered all around the world.

Genocide refers to the deliberate and systemic destruction of a group of people because of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, or race, and has been practiced throughout history. According to Thucydides, the Melos people were slaughtered after refusing to surrender to the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War. It was pretty common in ancient times for victors in a war to massacre all the men of a conquered population.

Today, governments never openly admit to committing genocidal acts. For example, the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein asserted its use of chemical warfare against the Kurds in the 1980s as part of an effort to reestablish law and order, while the Ottoman and Turkish governments said all the Armenians killed in the massacres were casualties of war. Even Germany’s Nazi regime did not publicize its atrocities against the Jewish people and other groups.

Even the recent Darfur genocide in Western Sudan, which refers to the mass slaughter and rape of Darfuri men, women, and children, is being carried out by a group of government-armed and government-funded Arab militias known as the Janjaweed or Rapid Support Forces.

Genocide Awareness Month timeline

1915
Armenia

During World War I, the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire are deported and killed by the Young Turk government.

1943
The Holocaust

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins as a part of the Jewish resistance in Nazi-occupied Poland.

1975
Cambodia

Cambodians are systematically persecuted and killed by the Khmer Rouge under the leadership of the Communist Party of Kampuchea general secretary Pol Pot.

1994
Rwanda

Members of the Tutsi minority ethnic group and some moderate Hutu and Twa are killed by armed militias in the 100 days of slaughter.

2003
Darfur

The Janjaweed systematically destroy Darfuris by burning villages, looting their economic resources, polluting water sources, and murdering and torturing civilians.

Genocide Awareness Month FAQs

What does the Genocide Convention do?

The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, usually called the Genocide Convention, is a law instrument that codifies genocide as a crime under International Law. It was adopted by the General Assembly on December 9, 1948, with over 140 states being party to the convention today.

What constitutes a crime against humanity?

Crimes against humanity refer to certain specific crimes committed in the form of large-scale attacks targeting civilians, regardless of their nationality. These crimes include murder, torture, mass systematic rape, sexual enslavement in a time of war, enslavement, persecution, enforced disappearance, and other inhumane acts.

What is the largest ethnic cleansing in history?

The biggest genocide or ethnic cleansing according to the death toll was the Nazi genocide of Soviet Slavs between 1939 and 1945. The World War II casualties of the Soviet Union from all related causes numbered over 20 million, including both civilians and military. The others include the Holocaust against European Jews, the Ukrainian Genocide, Nazi Holocaust against the Poles, and the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields.

How to Observe Genocide Awareness Month

  1. Show your support

    Pledge to help the millions of people still being persecuted today in any way you can. Consider making donations to organizations like Genocide Watch, the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities, and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, which are working to help those in need.

  2. Honor the fallen

    Pause to think of those who have been treated inhumanely in the past at the hands of evil dictators and tyrants. Also, think of those currently under attack and being persecuted for their identity.

  3. Raise awareness

    Learn more about how genocides develop, what’s happening in the world right now, and how you can help the victims. Spread this information to your friends, family, colleagues, and others by posting about it on your social media and talking about it. You can also consider writing to your local representatives.

5 Disturbing Facts About Genocide

  1. It leads to poverty

    The destruction of lives, resources, and property invariably leads to mass poverty as seen in places like Rwanda and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

  2. It increases crime

    The rise in poverty also leads to more crimes being committed, which can be seen in many developing countries.

  3. It destroys infrastructure

    Electricity, decent roads, and good housing become luxuries for people going through genocide.

  4. It ruins the healthcare system

    Hospitals and clinics naturally get overwhelmed due to less staff and a rise in patients ailing from injuries and diseases, many of which are preventable.

  5. Genocide targets minorities

    It often targets minorities and people who are on the fringes of society or don’t fully integrate with the larger society.

Why Genocide Awareness Month is Important

  1. It raises awareness

    Only by learning more about an issue can we come together to help fix it. We must acknowledge the events that have led up to genocide and dive deep into the problems while making more people aware of it.

  2. It’s still happening

    It’s easy to conjure up black-and-white pictures of people being killed when we think of genocide, but the reality is that millions of people are still being slaughtered today just because of their identity. Do your part for humanity by standing up for those who are being oppressed around the world.

  3. Genocide is preventable

    Preventing genocide is a collective action and has been a concern to the international community since the end of the Second World War. Genocide can be prevented by protecting civilians through U.N. peacekeepers, ending impunity through judicial action, taking swift action through military force gathering information, and setting up early warning systems.

Genocide Awareness Month dates

YearDateDay
2023April 1Saturday
2024April 1Monday
2025April 1Tuesday
2026April 1Wednesday
2027April 1Thursday
Be Kind to Spiders Week
Golden Rule Week
International Pooper Scooper Week
Laugh at Work Week
Medication Safety Week
National Robotics Week
Testicular Cancer Awareness Week
April Fools' Day
Assyrian New Year
Boomer Bonus Days
Cyprus National Holiday
Edible Book Day
Education and Sharing Day
Every Day is Tag Day
Fossil Fools Day
International Firewalk Day
International Fun at Work Day
International Pillow Fight Day
Investiture of the Captains Regent in San Marino
Library Snap Shot Day
Lupus Alert Day
Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month
Myles Day
National Connor Day
National Fun Day
National Greeting Card Day
National Handmade Day
National Love Our Children Day
National Loyal Day
National One Cent Day
National Sourdough Bread Day
National Trombone Players Day
Nickelodeon Anniversary Celebration Day
Odisha Day
Reading is Funny Day
St. Stupid Day
Take Down Tobacco National Day of Action
Tatting Day
U.S. Air Force Academy Day
U.S. Air Force Academy Day
Adopt a Ferret Month
Arab American Heritage Month
Autism Acceptance Month
Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Month
Cancer Control Month
Canine Fitness Month
Celebrate Diversity Month
Cesarean Awareness Month
Child Abuse Awareness Month
Children and Nature Awareness Month
Confederate History Month
Counseling Awareness Month
Couple Appreciation Month
Cranberries and Gooseberries Month
Defeat Diabetes Month
Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Dog Appreciation Month
Earth Month
Emotional Overeating Awareness Month
Fair Housing Month
Filipino Food Month
Financial Literacy Month
Fresh Florida Tomato Month
Genocide Awareness Month
Global Astronomy Month
Global Child Nutrition Month
Grange Month
IBS Month
Informed Woman Month
International Amateur Radio Month
International Customer Loyalty Month
International Guitar Month
Jazz Appreciation Month
Keep America Beautiful Month
Month of the Military Child
Move More Month
Multicultural Communication Month
National Adopt a Greyhound Month
National African-American Women's Fitness Month
National Alcohol Awareness Month
National BLT Sandwich Month
National Car Care Month
National Card and Letter Writing Month
National Decorating Month
National Donate Life Month
National Facial Protection Month
National Financial Capability Month
National Food Month
National Foot Health Awareness Month
National Fresh Celery Month
National Frog Month
National Garden Month
National Garlic Month
National Grilled Cheese Month
National Heartworm Awareness Month
National Humor Month
National Internship Awareness Month
National Kite Month
National Knuckles Down Month
National Literature Month
National Minority Health Month
National Month of Hope
National Multiple Birth Awareness Month
National Pecan Month
National Pest Management Month
National Pet First Aid Awareness Month
National Poetry Month
National Rebuilding Month
National Safe Digging Month
National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
National Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)'s Education and Awareness Month
National Sjogren's Syndrome Awareness Month
National Social Security Month
National Soft Pretzel Month
National Soy Foods Month
National Volunteer Month
National Welding Month
National Woodworking Month
National Youth Sports Safety Month
Occupational Therapy Month
Panagyaman Rice Festival
Parkinson's Awareness Month
Parliamentary Law Month
Pharmacists War on Diabetes Month
Physical Wellness Month
Poetic Earth Month
Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
Primary Immunodeficiency Awareness Month
Records and Information Management Month
Rosacea Awareness Month
Sarcoidosis Awareness Month
School Library Month
Scottish-American Heritage Month
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month
Step up for 30 For Bowel Cancer Month
STI Awareness Month
Straw Hat Month
Stress Awareness Month
Summer Tire Changeover Month
SunSmart Skin Cancer Prevention
Testicular Cancer Awareness Month
Tomatillo and Asian Pear Month
Women's Eye Health and Safety Month
Workplace Conflict Awareness Month
World Landscape Architecture Month
Worldwide Bereaved Spouses Awareness Month

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.