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Genocide awareness legislation to be introduced in 20 U.S. states

Genocide awareness legislation to be introduced in 20 U.S. states

PanARMENIAN.Net - Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, the independent U.S. national organization among Anne Frank organizations worldwide, has obtained commitments from 26 state legislators across 20 states, including Republicans and Democrats, to introduce legislation that would require education in public schools on the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaustand other genocides, a press release revealed.

Those 20 states are among the 42 U.S. states that do not already require education on genocide awareness and prevention. The 20 states are the initial states in the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect's ambitious new program, the 50 State Genocide Education Project, to mandate genocide education in public schools across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect is announcing the 20 states on Monday, April 24, 2017, a rare day in history on which Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, and Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, overlap.

The center said it's is asking state legislators to sign onto a communique in which they pledge to introduce legislation that would require genocide education, or in some cases to strengthen a state's existing requirement through a commission or task force to keep genocide comprehensive and up-to-date. The 26 state legislators across the initial 20 states have signed on to the communique.

Currently, three states - Florida, Illinois and New Jersey - require genocide education from grades K-12, and have a state commission or task force to keep genocide education comprehensive and up-to-date.

Two states, California and Michigan, require genocide education from grades 7 or 8 through 12, and have a state commission or task force.

Three states, Indiana, New York and Rhode Island, require genocide education from grades 7 or 8 through 12, but do not have a commission or task force.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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