Crimes Against Humanity in 21st Century: The role of International Organisations

Although the terminology used to specify serious violations of human rights of a certain group of people as genocide or crimes against humanity a recent invention of the last century, the history of mankind is replete with the practice of genocide, crimes against humanity, or generally speaking, the massive and gross violations of human rights.

Even it is not very clear when and in which context the crimes against humanity first used, te Nuremberg Trials was first used to prosecute individuals responsible for war crimes and atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. After the Second World War, international community, under the newly established United Nations, adopted the Convention the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on 9 December 1948. This was an important step to bring those who committed such appalling crimes to justice. Article II of the Convention defines the genocide as follows:

genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

  1. Killing members of the group;

  2. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

  3. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

  4. Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

  5. Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Since the Nuremberg Trials and United Nations adoption, the term has been used extensively to specify serious violations of human rights of a certain group of people. The term indicates genocide, ethnic cleansing, crimes in armed conflict and a systematic usage of violence in certain contexts for political purposes. Later on, United Nations established the Statute of the International Criminal Court to secure the punishment of those who committed genocide, or crimes against humanity irrespective of perpetrators’ titles and positions or states. The Statute defines four different types of international crimes over which the International Criminal Court shall exercise jurisdiction. These crimes are genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, crime of aggression.

Despite the international community’s sincere efforts to stop or at least discourage the commission of such abhorrent crimes, the world is still witnessing the commission of such atrocities. The Myanmar military repression and killing of Rohingya Muslims in which 25.000 persons have been killed and many were displaced and enforced to migrate. The so called Islamic State brutal violence against Ezidi people is considered as genocide. Many Ezidi woman girls were raped and most of them became slaves. This act is also labelled as crimes against humanity by humanitarian organisations and some countries. The human rights of Uyghur people in Xinjiang in China is deteriorated for many years and the many Uyghur are arbitrarly put in jail. They are systematically discriminated, tortured and an ethnic cleansing strategy is applied for many years. The United States and some other Western countries determined that the acts committed against Uyghurs have amounted to genocide while the UN described them as crimes against humanity. Chinese government is still constantly perpetrating the brutal violence against the Uyghur minority without fear of any sanction by international community. In many countries such atrocities including war crimes, systematic torture against a group of people is used as a mechanism to annihilate, eliminate socially and isolate from the society. One of the recent case is Turkish government’s disproportional usage of security apparatus to repress its opposants. The well-known victim is Gülen Movement followers who are jailed, labelled as terrorist, dismissed from their works as called professional annihilation by Amnesty. Lastly, many human rights organizations have documents several cases of Russian military forces committing war crimes against civilians such as rape, execution of civil people in Ukraine.

In each of these cases, the international laws and human rights prohibit systematic torture, sexual violence, social isolation, inhumane treatment of people. Anyone who orders or deliberately commits such acts is responsible for crime against humanity. Even the humanitarian and international law is very clear on these crimes, unfortunately, in most cases the commission of these crimes are not prevented by the international community simply because of the lack of a strong will to be possessed by the influential actors of the community. Some may explain the reason for such ignorance as referring to the delicate balance in the international relations. A policy of convenience in international relations shouldn’t justify the ignorance especially by Western democracies of commission of horrific crimes against the vulnerable minorities.

This conference is being organized to bring together leading experts, scholars, and practitioners from around the world to discuss and address the issue of crime against humanity, which has become a major concern for the international community. The conference will specifically look at the role of International Organisations in 21st century.

The conference will cover a wide range of topics related to crime against humanity, including but not limited to:

-The current state of international law on crime against humanity

-The challenges in investigating and prosecuting crimes against humanity

-The role of international criminal tribunals in combating crime against humanity

-The impact of crime against humanity on victims and affected communities

-The role of civil society and non-governmental organizations in addressing crime against humanity


1. Abstracts (300–500 words maximum) and CVs (maximum 1 page) to be received by 20th July 2023.

2. Abstracts to be short-listed by the Editorial Board and papers invited by 18th August 2023.

3. Papers (4,000 words minimum – 8,000 words maximum, excluding bibliography) to be received by 15th October 2012.

4. Papers reviewed by the Editorial Board and classed as: Accepted – No Recommendations; Accepted – See Recommendations; Conditional Acceptance – See Recommendations; Not Accepted.

5. Final papers to be received by 30th October 2012.

Conference Proceedings Paper Submission Guidelines

Full Papers for possible publication in the conference proceedings should be submitted in English only as MS Word documents via the paper submissions page on the conference website.

The first page of the manuscript should contain:

  • The title

  • The name(s) and institutional affiliation(s) of the author(s)

  • The address, telephone, and e-mail address of the corresponding author

  • An abstract of up to 300 words

  • A short bio for each author, up to 250 words

  • Three to seven keywords

Manuscripts should be between 4,000 and 8,000 words, excluding the bibliography. Articles will be peer-reviewed by the members of the Editorial Board and external expert reviewers.​

Style Guide for Contributors

Papers should follow the APA style.