Defined: Crimes Against Humanity
‘Crimes against humanity’ is one of the terms that falls under the umbrella of “mass atrocity.” While this term seems to be so vague it could incorporate just about any crime committed against another person, there is a specific legal definition of the term.
The International Criminal Court operates under the Rome Statue, a treaty outlining legal definitions and operating procedures. In this statute, “crimes against humanity” includes:
‘murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation or forcible transfer of population, imprisonment, torture, rape or sexual slavery, persecution, enforced disappearance, apartheid, or other means of causing great suffering’
In an explanatory memorandum, the Rome Statute goes on to denote that these acts are generally perpetrated by a government or authoritative body. This means that more or less, a ‘crime against humanity’ is an outright abuse of power on an ongoing and large scale.
Those indicted on counts of crimes against humanity are not just the schoolyard bullies – but rather the teacher or the principal bullying all the students in an incredibly vicious way.