The Place Where We Lived: A Typology of Extreme Domicide

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Bree AKESSON, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
Andrew R. BASSO, University of Calgary, Canada
Esther HERSCHBERGER, Wilfrid Laurier University- Faculty of Social Work, Canada
Patrick CIASCHI, The New School for Social Research, USA
Domicide – the intentional destruction of the home (Porteous & Smith, 2001) – is a critically under-researched human rights violation. Extreme domicide, where perpetrators utilize indirect or direct violence to partially or totally remove home occupants, has been utilized as violent means to displace and/or destroy families, communities, and cultures in many differing spatial and temporal contexts. At the turn of the century, Porteous and Smith (2001) estimated that over 30 million people were affected by domicide, a statistic that only accounts for those made homeless within their own country and not including official refugee statistics. More recently, Shao (2013) estimated 30 million people are “suffering [domicide’s] ravages” at the beginning of the 21st century. And Nowicki (2014) reported that domicide has resulted in an estimated 43.3 million people being forcibly displaced from their homes due to violent persecution in 2011. Although the literature does a thorough job of describing domicide, there is a critical lack of understanding of the types of domicide that occur within episodes of political violence. Grounded in eight case studies of extreme domicide, our presentation will highlight commonalities and differences among diverse examples of domicide from the expulsion of Chechens within the Soviet Union starting in 1944 to the destruction of the homes of the Rohingya minority group in contemporary Myanmar. By exploring the factors that contribute to extreme domicide and the range of effects of domicide on children, families, communities, and societies, human rights actors can begin to hold those who commit domicide accountable and take steps towards preventing its deleterious effects.