This article examines how displacement is used as a tool of atrocity perpetration and offers initial observations that will be used to create a future typology of Displacement Atrocities. Perpetrators' uses of forced population displacement coupled with systematic deprivations of vital daily needs (i.e., food, water, clothing, shelter, and medical care) combine to kill targeted victims through primarily indirect methods. A preliminary theoretical framework of Displacement Atrocities is offered and the critical elements that comprise this crime are explored. I argue that the Displacement Atrocity crime is a new way of understanding lethal forced population displacement. This theoretical framework is used to examine three typically understudied atrocities: the Cherokee Trail of Tears, the Herero Genocide, and the Pontic Greek Genocide. These processes of destruction are all classified as examples of Displacement Atrocities. This article is part of a larger research project on Displacement Atrocities to be completed in the coming years.


I would like to thank Dr. Rhoda E. Howard-Hassmann, Dr. Maureen S. Hiebert, and the editors of Genocide Studies and Prevention for their invaluable and critical insights on this project.