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

We joined multiple organizations and individuals from various regions unite to advocate for a global convention addressing crimes against humanity. We call upon states to use the 2024 April Resumed Session of the UN’s Sixth Committee to endorse a procedure enabling the advancement of the Draft Articles on Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Humanity to negotiations for a treaty during the 79th Session of the UN General Assembly.

Throughout history, countless people have suffered atrocities such as murder, enslavement, and persecution, highlighting the urgent need for action. Despite their severity, crimes against humanity lack a dedicated treaty for prevention and punishment, leaving a critical gap in international law. A treaty would address this gap and clarify states’ responsibilities in preventing such crimes and fostering international cooperation.

The International Law Commission has paved the way for this initiative by including crimes against humanity in its agenda, and subsequent resolutions have outlined steps toward treaty negotiation. We endorse the Commission’s Draft Articles as a solid foundation for treaty negotiations and urge states to support their advancement.

Additionally, we urge states to identify areas for strengthening the Draft Articles, particularly focusing on gender sensitivity and survivor-centred approaches. Civil society proposals offer valuable insights for enhancing the proposed treaty.

Furthermore, we emphasize the importance of an inclusive treaty-making process, ensuring the meaningful participation of diverse voices, including victims, survivors, and affected communities, in all stages of development. This inclusive approach is essential for creating a robust and effective framework for addressing crimes against humanity on a global scale.