The Conference commemorates the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on 9 December 1948. The Convention, which defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
- (a) Killing members of the group;
- (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
- (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
- (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
- (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."
was immensely influenced by the work of one person: Polish lawyer Rafał Lemkin, who documented German atrocities during World War II and coined the term "genocide". The Conference brings together scholars from several countries, representing various disciplines, to talk about Lemkin, the Genocide Convention, its origins and its importance in today's world.