Facts about the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative

The Crimes Against Humanity Initiative was launched in 2008 to study the need for a comprehensive convention on the prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity, analyze the necessary elements of such a convention, and draft a proposed treaty.

The Initiative is directed by a seven-member Steering Committee composed of:             
Professor Leila Nadya Sadat
, Chair
Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni
Ambassador Hans Corell
J
ustice Richard Goldstone
Professor Juan Méndez
Professor William Schabas
Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert

The Initiative has progressed in phases, the first three of which have been completed:

  • Phase I.        Preparation of the project and methodological development;
  • Phase II.       Private study of the problem through the commission of working papers by leading experts and collaborative discussion of draft treaty language at expert meetings in St. Louis and The Hague; and
  • Phase III.     Public discussion of the project through written consultation with additional experts and at an international conference convened in Washington, D.C.; adoption of the Proposed International Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity; publication of Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity (Leila Nadya Sadat, ed., Cambridge 2011), which contains the text of the Proposed Convention in English and in French, Phase II papers, and a comprehensive history of the drafting process.
  • The Initiative is now in Phase IV – a global awareness campaign about the need for a specialized convention on crimes against humanity which will ultimately lead to the adoption of a new multilateral treaty on crimes against humanity.

More information regarding The Crimes Against Humanity Initiative is available at http://crimesagainsthumanity.wustl.edu/.

Generously funded by a leadership grant from Steven Cash Nickerson and by Humanity United and the United States Institute of Peace.  [printer-friendly version]