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The prohibition of crimes against humanity, similar to the prohibition of genocide, has been considered a peremptory norm of international law, from which no derogation is permitted and which is applicable to all States.
~ United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect'
Crimes against humanity are certain acts that are deliberately committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian or an identifiable part of a civilian population. The first prosecution for crimes against humanity took place at the Nuremberg Trials in the aftermath of World War II. Crimes against humanity have since been prosecuted by other international courts (for example, the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and the International Criminal Court) as well as in domestic prosecutions. The law of crimes against humanity has primarily developed through the evolution of customary international law. Crimes against humanity are not codified in an international convention, although there is currently an international effort to establish such a treaty, led by the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative.

Unlike war crimes, crimes against humanity can be committed during peace or war (for this reason, war crimes and crimes against humanity often overlap with one another.) They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (although the perpetrators need not identify themselves with this policy) or of a wide practice of atrocities tolerated or condoned by a government or a de facto authority.

Examples of crimes against humanity

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