Ethnic cleansing


      • forced displacement and persecution based on ethnicity or race
        Referring to a systematic and deliberate attempt to remove a particular ethnic or racial group from a certain area or region, often through violent means such as mass killings, torture, and other human rights abuses.

      • homogenization of a society
        Describing the actions of a dominant group in a society to forcefully eliminate or assimilate minority groups, often with the goal of creating a more homogeneous population.

      • purification of a population
        Suggesting the belief that a certain ethnic or racial group is inferior or undesirable, and therefore must be eliminated or "cleansed" in order to create a pure and superior society.

    Examples of Ethnic cleansing

    • "The military has been accused of carrying out ethnic cleansing against predominantly Muslim communities in the northern region."

      In this example, "ethnic cleansing" is being used to describe a deliberate and systematic attempt to drive out an ethnic or religious group from a particular area. It implies the use of violence, coercion, or other forms of intimidation to force the targeted group to leave. In this case, the military is accused of carrying out this strategy against Muslim communities in the north.

    • "The government's policies have been criticized for their potential to result in ethnic cleansing, as they disproportionately affect minority groups."

      Here, "ethnic cleansing" is being used more broadly to refer to the consequences, rather than the specific actions, of a given set of policies. It highlights the severity of the potential impact, which could include forced displacement and violence against vulnerable communities.

    • "The conflict in the region has resulted in ethnic cleansing on a staggering scale, with hundreds of thousands of people forced to flee their homes."

      In this example, "ethnic cleansing" is being used to describe a large-scale, ongoing conflict in which one or more ethnic or religious groups are being forcibly removed from their homes. It highlights the severity and magnitude of the violence and displacement taking place.

    • "The recent crackdown by the authorities has been denounced as ethnic cleansing, as it targets members of the minority community."

      Here, "ethnic cleansing" is being used to describe a specific, ongoing action taken by the authorities to forcefully remove members of a minority community from a given area. It implies a deliberate and systematic attempt to eliminate the targeted group from the region.

    • The government's harsh policies against the minority population have led to widespread reports of ethnic cleansing in the region.

      "Ethnic cleansing" is a descriptive term initially used to describe the violent expulsion or massacre of ethnic and religious minorities in the Balkans during the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s. The term now has a broader, more general meaning and is used to describe the systematic effort to remove an ethnic or religious group from a specific area through violence, forced displacement, or other means that aim to transform the demographic make-up of the region. In this example, the usage of "ethnic cleansing" highlights the severity and malicious intent of the government's policies towards the minority population.

    • The conflict has escalated into a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing, with reports of massacres and atrocities committed against civilians on a daily basis.

      This example further elaborates on the concept of "ethnic cleansing" by providing specific examples of its manifestation in the context of the conflict. The term "brutal campaign" emphasizes the extent and intensity of the violence, while "massacres" and "atrocities" point to the deliberate targeting of civilians. This usage highlights the extreme nature and human cost of the "ethnic cleansing" involved in the conflict.

    • The UN has condemned the ongoing ethnic cleansing, calling for immediate action to be taken against the perpetrators and to protect the affected population.

      This example shows how the international community responds to incidents of "ethnic cleansing" by using the term to describe the actions of the perpetrators and to condemn them in a forceful and explicit manner. The UN's call for action against the perpetrators and for the protection of the affected population underscores the gravity and urgency of the situation and the need to prevent further harm.

    • The situation has deteriorated into an ethnic cleansing, with thousands of people being forced to flee their homes and communities.

      This example shows the potential impact of "ethnic cleansing" by illustrating its destructive effect on people's lives. The term "forced to flee" highlights the violent displacement of civilians, while the quantification of "thousands" emphasizes the scale of the humanitarian crisis. This usage underscores the harsh and devastating consequences of "ethnic cleansing".


    The idiom "ethnic cleansing" is used to describe a range of actions that involve the forced displacement and persecution of a particular ethnic or racial group. It can refer to violent and systematic attempts to remove a group from a specific area, as well as efforts to assimilate or eliminate minority groups in order to homogenize a society. The underlying intention behind this term is to create a population that is perceived as superior or more desirable.

    Origin of "Ethnic cleansing"

    The term "ethnic cleansing" originated in the 1990s during the conflicts in former Yugoslavia. It was first used by Serbian leaders to describe their violent campaign against Bosnian Muslims and Croats, which included mass killings and forced deportations. The term gained widespread use and attention during this time, bringing international awareness to the atrocities being committed.

    The term itself has been criticized for its euphemistic nature, as it downplays the severity and violence of the actions being described. Some argue that it obscures the true intent of these actions, which is often rooted in racism and discrimination. Others argue that it is an accurate and powerful term that accurately captures the scale and impact of such crimes against humanity.

    Regardless of its origins or critiques, "ethnic cleansing" remains a powerful and evocative term that highlights the devastating consequences of discrimination and violence against specific racial or ethnic groups.