After the shock and horror of the Holocaust and the devastation that took place because of World War II, the United Nations was formed to try to prevent these atrocities from ever happening again. But millions of civilians have died in dozens of wars since then and genocide - systematically killing people based on their religion or ethnic background - has occurred again and again.
For more than a century, people have lobbied and worked to create an international criminal court to bring to justice those who are responsible for crimes against humanity -- war crimes and genocide. Finally, on July 17, 1998, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted. In October 2005, Mexico became the 100th nation to ratify this international statute to create a permanent International Criminal Court.
International Justice Day is an opportunity to rally support for the International Criminal Court that will bring perpetrators of crimes against humanity to justice, especially in countries like the United States, whose government does not yet support this institution for international justice, even though the majority of Americans do. Justice Day is also an opportunity to highlight the ongoing work that Amnesty International and thousands of other organizations are doing to defend human rights and create a more just and peaceful world.