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 Steering Committee composed of:

Professor Leila Nadya Sadat
, Chair
Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni
Ambassador Hans Corell
Justice Richard Goldstone
Professor Juan Méndez
Professor William Schabas
Judge Christine Van den Wyngaert

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

  • Phase I (2008):
    Project preparation and methodological development
  • Phase II and III (2009-2013):
    Private study through commissioning working papers by leading experts and collaboratively discussing draft treaty language at expert meetings, followed by public discussion and adoption of the Proposed International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes Against Humanity | Publishing Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity (Cambridge University Press, 2011 and 2013) and translating the Proposed Convention into Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish |  Promoting the Proposed Convention’s strengths and innovations and advocating for a new treaty with members of the UN International Law Commission, academics, government officials, civil society representatives, and other international stakeholders
  • Phase IV (2014-2019):
    Hosting regional consultations and conferences around the world to engage a wide-variety of international stakeholders | Producing a film, Never Again: Forging a Convention for Crimes Against Humanity (2017) | Supporting the work of the UN International Law Commission (ILC) regarding the preparation of Draft Articles for a new United Nations treaty
  • Phase V (2019-Present):
    Following the second and final reading of the ILC Draft Articles for a new treaty | Adoption of the Treaty by the international community

The Initiative’s work in Phases I through III was generously funded by a leadership grant from Steven Cash Nickerson, Humanity United, and the United States Institute of Peace. The film was supported by the Rubin and Gloria Feldman Family Education Institute at the St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center.

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