Dehumanization is the denial of full humanness in others and the cruelty and suffering that accompanies it. A practical definition refers to it as the viewing and treatment of other persons as though they lack the mental capacities that are commonly attributed to human beings. In this definition, every act or thought that regards a person as "less than" human is dehumanization.
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Dehumanization is one technique in incitement to genocide. It has also been used to justify war, judicial and extrajudicial killing, slavery, the confiscation of property, denial of suffrage and other rights, and to attack enemies or political opponents.