A war crime is a punishable offence under international law, for abuses of the laws of war by any person or persons, military or civilian.
Some of these prohibited acts include:
- mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
- taking of hostages;
- intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population;
- intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historical monuments or hospitals;
- rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy or any other form of sexual violence;
- conscripting or enlisting children under the age of 15 years into armed forces or groups or using them to participate actively in hostilities.