Ethnic Cleansing Law and Legal Definition

Ethnic Cleansing is the deliberate and systematic removal of a racial, political, or cultural group from a specific geographical area. A 1993 United Nations Commission defined it more specifically as, "the planned deliberate removal from a specific territory, persons of a particular ethnic group, by force or intimidation, in order to render that area ethnically homogenous."

The term ethnic cleansing is different from genocide. These terms are not synonymous, yet the academic discourse considers both as existing in a spectrum of assaults on nations or religio-ethnic groups. Ethnic cleansing is similar to forced deportation or 'population transfer' whereas genocide is the intentional murder of part or all of a particular ethnic, religious, or national group. The idea in ethnic cleansing is "to get people to move, and the means used to this end range from the legal to the semi-legal”. Genocide is a subset of murderous ethnic cleansing. The war events in former Yugoslavia, especially in Bosnia and Kosovo is an example for ethnic cleansing. Jews killed during Nazi regime is an example for genocide.