Joint Statement in Support of Progress toward a Crimes Against Humanity Treaty

In International Advocacy Program, United Nations Human Rights Council by CIHRS

The undersigned organizations and individuals — with representation from multiple geographic regions — express our support for a global convention on crimes against humanity, and urge states to utilize the 2024 April Resumed Session of the UN’s Sixth Committee to express strong support for a procedure to be adopted at the 79th Session of the UN General Assembly to move the Draft Articles on Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Humanity forward to negotiations for a treaty.

Throughout history, millions of people have been subjected to murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, persecution, and other atrocities that have shocked the conscience of humanity. Crimes against humanity continue unabated across the globe and the Draft Articles provide a timely and urgent opportunity for states to help end impunity.

Although crimes against humanity are among the most serious crimes in international law, there has yet to be a treaty regulating their prevention and punishment. A treaty on crimes against humanity would close a crucial gap in the current international framework on mass atrocities as well as clarifying states’ duties to prevent such crimes and means to cooperate with each other. A crimesagainst humanity treaty can also rightfully contribute to global affirmation of the gravity of these crimes.

In 2013, the UN’s International Law Commission approved crimes against humanity to be included in its programme of work. The Commission, in 2019, recommended the elaboration of a convention by the UN General Assembly or by an international conference.

In 2022, the UN’s Sixth Committee adopted resolution 77/249 to take forward steps for a treaty on crimes against humanity, including two interactive sessions in 2023 and 2024 on the Draft Articles, and a plan to take a decision on the ILC’s recommendation that a treaty go forward in the 79th session of the General Assembly.

We believe the International Law Commission’s Draft Articles represent a strong starting point to open negotiations on a treaty. There is broad agreement that the Draft Articles contain a number of positive elements, and differences in perspectives on the existing Draft Articles should not be used to perpetuate inaction. Accordingly, we urge states to follow the Commission’s recommendation that a treaty on crimes against humanity should be negotiated, either by the General Assembly itself or in a Diplomatic Conference convened for that purpose.

Our organizations also urge states at the April resumed session to identify important areas for further strengthening the Draft Articles. A variety of civil society groups have developed proposals toward this end. These include strengthening the proposed treaty by a variety of means.

We urge states at the April resumed session also to express overall support for an approach to the development of a crimes against humanity treaty that is gender-competent, survivor-centric, and deploys an intersectional lens. This includes ensuring the inclusion of a non-discrimination provision to apply and interpret the treaty’s provisions consistent with international human rights law.

We believe it is equally essential that the treaty-making process itself is inclusive. States should facilitate meaningful, inclusive, and safe public and civil society participation from across all regions, in all stages of the treaty-development process, including by people of all gender identities, as well as victims, survivors, and affected communities, and ensure that their voices are adequately represented in the final provisions of the treaty.

Signatory Organizations:

  1. Abogados Sin Fronteras Canadá
  2. Action des Chretiens pour l’Abolition de la Torture au Burundi
  3. Action for Change
  4. Action Network for Gender Equity & Law
  5. Adovicuganda International
  6. Africa Center for International Law and Accountability (Ghana)
  7. Africa Legal Aid
  8. African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies
  9. African Platform for Human Rights and Governance
  10. AfricanDefenders
  11. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights (Palestine)
  12. Alerte Congolaise pour l’environnement et les droits de l’homme
  13. All Survivors Group
  14. ALTSEAN – Burma
  15. Amnesty International
  16. Anti-Domestic Violence Center (Uganda)
  17. Aotearoa Lawyers for Peace (New Zealand)
  18. ASD-INKING (Uganda)
  19. Ashta Development Organization
  20. Asia Justice Coalition
  21. Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos
  22. l’Association des victimes, parents et Amis du 28 septembre 2009 (Guinea)
  23. Association of World Citizens (France)
  24. Association pour le Développement des Initiatives Paysannes (DRC)
  25. Athena Tech & Atrocities Advisory
  26. Australian Centre for International Justice
  27. Avaaz
  28. Basel Peace Office (Switzerland)
  29. Burma Human Rights Network
  30. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  31. Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture
  32. Center for Accountability and Rule of Law – Sierra Leone
  33. Center Against Human Trafficking and Sexual Violence in Conflict
  34. Center for Human Rights Advocacy
  35. The Center for International and Comparative Law at the University of Baltimore School of Law
  36. Center for Justice and Accountability
  37. Center for Peace Building and Democracy in Liberia
  38. Centre for Democracy and Human Rights
  39. Centre international de Droit Comparé de l’Environnement (France)
  40. Centre Libanais des Droits Humains
  41. Centre de Recherche sur l’environnement, la démocratie et les droits de l’homme (DRC)
  42. El Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (Argentina)
  43. Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional
  44. Centro Regional de Derechos Humanos y Justicia de Género – Corporación Humanas
  45. CIDA Organisation
  46. Citizens for Global Solutions
  47. Civil Education is the Solution for Poverty and Environmental Management (Tanzania)
  48. Civitas Maximas
  49. The Coalition Burundaise des Défenseurs des Droits de l’Homme
  50. Coalition contre l’impunite (Tchad)
  51. Coalition des Volontaires pour la Paix et le Développement (DRC)
  52. La Coalition Ivoirienne pour la Cour Pénale International
  53. Coalitions de l’Afrique Francophone pour la Cour Penale Internationale
  54. Le Comité National pour la Prévention et la Répression du Génocide des crimes de guerres crimes contre l’humanité et de toute forme de Discrimination de la République Démocratique du Congo
  55. Committee For Justice (Egypt)
  56. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (South Sudan)
  57. Corruption Brakes Crusade (Uganda)
  58. Crimes Against Humanity Initiative
  59. CSO Advocacy Platform of Liberia
  60. Darfur Bar Association
  61. Darfur Women’s Action Group
  62. DefendDefenders (Uganda)
  63. DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture
  64. Denis Mukwege Foundation (The Hague)
  65. The Duty Legacy
  66. EnGendeRights (Philippines)
  67. Enssaf
  68. Environnemental Frontline (DRC)
  69. European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights
  70. Fantanka (The Gambia)
  71. Femena
  72. Fondation Bill Clinton pour la Paix (DRC)
  73. Fortify Rights
  74. Forum des organisations nationales humanitaires et de développement (DRC)
  75. Foundation for Human Rights and Democracy (Liberia)
  76. Foundation for Human Rights Initiative – Uganda
  77. FrameOut
  78. Free Yezidi Foundation
  79. Fundación para el Debido Proceso
  80. Geitasamo Paralegal Organization
  81. Gender Action for Peace and Security
  82. Gender Centre for Empowering Development
  83. Genocide Alert (Germany)
  84. Global Call to Action Against Poverty
  85. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
  86. Global Compliance Research Project
  87. Global Justice and Research Project (Liberia)
  88. Global Justice Center
  89. Global Rights Compliance
  90. Global Security Institute
  91. Global Survivor’s Fund (Switzerland)
  92. Grace Agenda (Kenya)
  93. Groupe d’associations de défense des droits de l’homme et de la Paix (DRC)
  94. HakiMadini
  95. Human Rescue DRC
  96. Human Rights and Development in Africa
  97. Human Rights Concern – Eritrea
  98. Human Rights Defenders Network – Sierra Leone
  99. Human Rights Watch
  100. IDHEAS Litigio Estratégico en Derechos Humanos
  101. Initiative for Good Governance and Transparency in Tanzania
  102. Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa
  103. Integrity Initiatives International
  104. Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace
  105. International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law
  106. International Association of People’s Lawyers
  107. International Center for the Study, Prevention, and Treatment of MultiGenerational Legacies of Trauma
  108. International Commission of Jurists
  109. International Commission of Jurists, Norway
  110. International Federation for Human Rights
  111. International Federation of Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture
  112. The International Network on Disability, Peace and Security
  113. International Service for Human Rights
  114. International Tribunal of Conscience of Peoples in Movement
  115. Italian Federation for Human Rights
  116. Iteka Initiative
  117. Jumuiya ya Maendeleo ya Elimu ya Wototo Pemba
  118. Justicia Asbl (DRC)
  119. Keen and Care Initiative (Nigeria)
  120. Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy
  121. Legal Action Worldwide
  122. Legal Resources Centre (South Africa)
  123. Liberty Sparks
  124. Libyan Human Rights Clinic
  125. Ligue Burundaise des droits de l’homme Iteka
  126. Ligue des Droits de la personne dans la région des Grands-Lacs (Burundi, Rwanda, and DRC)
  127. L’Organisation Guinéenne de Défense des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen
  128. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
  129. Minnesota Peace Project
  130. Missing Persons Families Group (Türkiye and Syria)
  131. Mizan Organization for Legal Studies on Human Rights
  132. Mozambique Human Rights Defenders Network
  133. Musawa
  134. My World México
  135. National Forum for Human Rights (Yemen)
  136. National Lawyers Guild – San Francisco Bay Chapter
  137. National Lawyers Guild Task Force on the Americas
  138. Netwomening Association (Spain)
  139. Nigeria Human Rights Defenders Network
  140. Norwegian Helsinki Committee
  141. La Nouvelle Société Civile Congolaise
  142. Operation Broken Silence
  143. Pan African Lawyers Union
  144. Parliamentarians for Global Action
  145. Partnership for Justice (Nigeria)
  146. Pemba Child Rights Environment and Malaria Control Organization
  147. People for Successful Corean Unification (South Korea and US)
  148. Physicians for Human Rights
  149. Platform for Social Justice (Uganda)
  150. Protection Approaches
  151. Redress
  152. Regional Advocacy for Women’s Sustainable Advancement (MENA)
  153. Réseau des Défenseurs des Droits Humains en Afrique Centrale
  154. Reseau Equitas Cote d’Ivoire
  155. Réseau Equitas (DRC)
  156. Rights and Rice Foundation (Liberia)
  157. SACCORD (Zambia)
  158. Safe Island for Women and Children (Tanzania)
  159. SAHRiNGON Tanzania Chapter
  160. Save the Mother and Children of Central Tanzania
  161. Sentinel Project (Canada)
  162. Servicio Paz y Justicia Paragua
  163. Somalian Human Rights Association
  164. SOS – TB
  165. Solo Sandeng Foundation (The Gambia)
  166. South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network
  167. South Sudan Youth Peace and Development Organization
  168. Southern African Litigation Centre
  169. Strategic Advocacy for Human Rights (Global)
  170. Strategic Litigation Project (US)
  171. Synergie des femmes pour les victimes des violences sexuelles (DRC)
  172. Synergie Ukingo Wet (DRC)
  173. Syria Justice and Accountability Centre
  174. Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression
  175. The Syrian Legal Development Programme
  176. Tanzania Centre For Economic and Social Rights
  177. Tanzania GCAP Coalition
  178. Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition
  179. Tigrians Canadian Immigration Association
  180. Transitional Justice Working Group (South Korea)
  181. TRIAL International
  182. Union des Amis Socio Culturels d’Action en Developpement
  183. United Nations Association of Sweden
  184. Visionary Ethics Foundation (Costa Rica)
  185. The West African Transitional Justice Centre
  186. Uganda Peace Foundation
  187. UN Association of South Sudan
  188. United States International Council on Disabilities
  189. University of Chicago Law School Global Human Rights Clinic
  190. La Voix des Sans Voix pour les Droits de l’homme (DRC)
  191. Volunteer for Youth in Health and Development
  192. War Crimes Research Office, American University
  193. Wayamo Foundation (Germany)
  194. We are NOT Weapons of War
  195. West African Human Rights Defenders Network
  196. Women for Permanent Peace and Justice
  197. Women’s Association for Women and Victims’ Empowerment (The Gambia)
  198. Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice
  199. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, S. Section
  200. World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy (Czech Republic)
  201. World Future Council – Institute for Global Policy (International)
  202. Women’s League of Burma
  203. Women’s Peace Network
  204. World Organisation against Torture
  205. World Without Genocide
  206. Yazda
  207. Yelef Initiative (The Gambia)


  1. Hirad Abtahi, Legal Advisor of the Presidency to the International Criminal Court
  2. Grace Acan, SEMA/Women’s Advocacy Network
  3. Professor William Aceves, California Western School of Law
  4. Zubaida Akbar, Woman Human Rights Defender
  5. Maya Alrahabi, Executive Director, Musawa
  6. Riad Alakar
  7. Alfadil Alnor, Human Rights Activist
  8. Professor Kai Ambos, Georg August Universität Göttingen
  9. Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin KC (Hons), The Queen’s University of Belfast/Minnesota

Law School

  1. Sareta Ash, Senior Gender Expert
  2. Professor Sahar Aziz, Rutgers University Law School
  3. Professor Tae-Ung Baik, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  4. Professor Karima Bennoune, University of Michigan Law School
  5. John Berger, Senior Fellow, Center on National Seccurity, Fordham Law School
  6. Jutta Bertram-Nothnagel, Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy, Vice President
  7. Professor Michael Bohlander, Durham University
  8. Reed Brody, Former Director of UN Missions – El Salvador and DRC
  9. Todd Buchwald, Member, United Nations Committee Against Torture
  10. Professor David Donat Cattin, New York University
  11. Lecturer Giovanni Chiarini, University of Huddersfield
  12. Professor Roger Clark, Rutgers Law School
  13. Ambassador Hans Corell
  14. Mazen Darwish, Syrian lawyer and human rights defender
  15. Carlos Villán Durán, Asociación Española para el Derecho Internacional de los Derechos Humanos
  16. Professor Terje Einarsen, University of Bergen
  17. Mark Ellis, International Bar Association, Executive Director
  18. Professor Gareth Evans, Australian National University
  19. Professor Aaron Fellmeth, ABILA International Human Rights Committee, Co-Chair
  20. Daoud Daoud, CEO, SALAM
  21. Professor Stephanie Farrior
  22. Bhavani Fonseka, Centre for Policy Alternatives
  23. Professor Sévane Garibian, Université de Genève
  24. Professor Hannah Garry, UCLA Law Promise Institute for Human Rights
  25. Justice Richard Goldstone
  26. Professor Gregory Gordon, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  27. Michael Greco, Former President of American Bar Association
  28. Rosemary Grey, University of Sydney
  29. Professor Jonathan Hafetz, Seton Hall Law School
  30. Christopher “Kip” Hale, Atrocity Crimes Advisory Group for Ukraine, Georgetown Law’s

International Criminal Justice Initiative

  1. Professor Steven Heydemann, Smith College
  2. Professor Yasushi Higashizawa, Meijigakuin University
  3. Christina Hioureas, Partner, Foley Hoag LLP
  4. Shirin Ibadi, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
  5. Junemarie Justus, Founder and CEO, Acorn Project
  6. Martina Kabisama
  7. Professor Patrick Keenan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  8. Professor Michael Kelly, Creighton University
  9. Professor Mark Kersten, University of the Fraser Valley
  10. Professor Jocelyn Getgen Kestenbaum, Benjamin Cardozo School of Law
  11. Professor Mark Klamberg, Stockholm University
  12. Professor Claus Kreß, University of Cologne
  13. Judge O-Gon Kwon, former Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
  14. Professor Stephen Legomsky, Washington University School of Law
  15. Professor David Luban, Georgetown University Law Center
  16. Tarcisco Dal Maso
  17. Anja Matwijkiw, Indiana University Northwest
  18. Professor Juan Mendez, American University
  19. Professor Bonita Meyersfeld, Wits School of Law
  20. Professor Saira Mohamed, UC Berkley School of Law
  21. Sadiq Mohammed
  22. Muhammad Sharif Muhammad, Founder and President, Hitma Development Organization
  23. Professor (ret.) Abdul Hameed Nayyar, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad
  24. Stella Ndirangu, International Criminal Law Expert
  25. Nancy Newman, International Action for Gender Equity & Law, Founder
  26. Tschika McBean Okosi, US & Guyana
  27. Professor Valerie Oosterveld, University of Western Ontario Faculty of Law
  28. Professor Anjli Parrin, University of Chicago Law School, Global Human Rights Clinic
  29. Joseph Powderly, Leiden University
  30. Tania Principe, Nobel Women’s Initiative
  31. Akila Radhakrishnan, Strategic Legal Adviser, Gender Justice, Atlantic Council and President, Global Justice Center (2018–2023)
  32. Stephen Rapp, Former US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice (2009– 2015)
  33. Professor Darryl Robinson, Queen’s University Faculty of Law
  34. Professor Naomi Roht-Arriaza, University of California Law, San Francisco
  35. Professor Gabor Rona, Cardozo Law School
  36. Erin Farrell Rosenberg, University of Cincinnati College of Law
  37. Indira Rosenthal, Gender expert
  38. Professor Brad Roth, Waye State University
  39. Kenneth Roth, Former Executive Director of Human Rights Watch
  40. Professor Susana SáCouto, American University Washington College of Law
  41. Professor Leila Nadya Sadat, Washington University School of Law
  42. Professor Phillipe Sands, University College London
  43. Professor William Schabas, Middlesex University, London
  44. David Scheffer, former U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997–2001)
  45. Judge (ret). Wolfgang Schomburg
  46. Fred Sekindi
  47. Professor Patricia Viseur Sellers, University of Oxford
  48. Joseph Severe, UNASCAD – Haiti
  49. Professor Milena Sterio, Cleveland State University College of Law
  50. Léa-Rose Stoian, Legal Advisor in Criminal Justice and Criminology
  51. Jeanne Sulzer, Impact Litigation
  52. Sal Taal, Former President, Gambian Bar Association
  53. Ellen Thomas, Proposition One Campaign for a Nuclear-Free Future, Director
  54. Professor Jennifer Trahan, New York University
  55. Victor Tsilonis, Chairman, Intellectum Scientific Society
  56. Professor Catherine Van De Heyning, University of Antwerp
  57. Judge Christine Van De Wyngaert, Kosovo Specialist Chambers
  58. Peter Weiss
  59. Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

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