What Is Ethnic Cleansing?

Ethnic cleansing lacks a legal definition by the United Nations, so it is technically not considered a crime under international law; as opposed to genocide which does have an international meaning.

The first time the term was used on the world stage was during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. The United Nations Commission of Experts was tasked with investigating if violations of international humanitarian law was committed there.

As the world continues to see acts of ethnic cleansing in places like Myanmar and Bangladesh unfold over and over, is it time the international community come together to legally define it and make it an international crime?

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