International legal issues surrounding the characterisation of the Holodomor as genocide (Advisory report No. 42, 2023)

On 28 March 2023, the House of Representatives of the States General asked the Advisory Committee on Issues of Public International Law (CAVV) to draw up an advisory report on the considerations surrounding the recognition of the Holodomor as genocide.

In the present advisory report, the CAVV first defines the terms ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ (section 1). It then points out that a number of parliaments have characterised the Holodomor as genocide (section 2). Next, it examines whether acts of genocide and crimes against humanity already existed as violations of international law at the time of the Holodomor. The CAVV is of the opinion that this has not been conclusively established (section 3). However, that does not prevent the House of Representatives from recognising the Holodomor as genocide by contemporary standards (section 4). The CAVV subsequently discusses various options for international procedures relating to the investigation of the Holodomor (section 5). This is followed, finally, by the report’s conclusion and recommendations (section 6).