Crimes against humanity

Crimes against humanity are particularly hateful offences, in that they represent a serious attack on human dignity or grave dishonor or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events, but are part either of a government policy (though 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. Murder; extermination; torture; rape, and political, racial, or religious persecution and other inhumane acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice. Isolated inhumane acts of this nature may constitute grave infringements of human rights, or depending on the circumstances, war crimes, but may fall short of falling into the category of crimes under discussion

The mastermind of the most horrible crime against humanity
The mastermind of the most horrible crime against humanity

Crimes against humanity can be caused by someone being too patriotic, or embracing an excess of ultranationalism. An example of this is when Japanese soldiers stormed the Chinese city of Nanjing in 1937 and murdered an estimated 300,000 men, women, and children on orders from the highest ranks in the Japanese military. Another event that is classified as a crime against humanity is when the United States dropped the nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That single event killed around 140, 000 Japanese people by the end of 1945, from the initial impact, and radiation sickness that followed for individuals that were on the outskirts of the cities at the time of the bombing.
The mushroom cloud from the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima
The mushroom cloud from the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima

Events including and similar to the Nanjing massacre and the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima forced many countries to agree upon definitions for genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.
· Genocide refers to the killing of members of a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group; causing serious bodily harm to members of the group; and deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.
· Crimes Against Humanity refers to widespread or systematic attacks against a civilization population – murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, rape or sexual slavery, enforced disappearance of persons, and the crime of apartheid.
· War Crimes refers to willful killing, torture, or inhuman treatment; willfully causing great suffering; and intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population or against those who are involved in a humanitarian or peacekeeping mission.