Today, Oct. 11, 2012, is World Day Against the Death Penalty. Amnesty International released this video to mark last year’s World Day:
From the Human Rights Education Associates:
This year’s World Day focuses on the progress made in the past 10 years and on challenges ahead. The last decade has seen a large increase in the number of countries that have officially abolished the death penalty or eliminated the use of the death penalty in practice:
• 141 countries are abolitionist in law or in practice;
• 97 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes;
• 36 countries have abolished the death penalty in practice;
• 8 countries have abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes.
According to Amnesty International, 21 countries recorded executions in 2011, compared to 31 countries 10 years ago. Even the USA, one of the worst offenders in the use of the death penalty, has shown progress as individual states have abolished or limited the death penalty. Many other countries have also abolished the death penalty in the past decade, including: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Bhutan, Burundi, Cook Islands, Gabon, Greece, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mexico, the Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Togo, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
However, further work needs to be done to build on the progress made, according to the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty:
• Promote national legislation abolishing the death penalty.
• Increase ratifications of the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.
• Support international standards calling for the abolition or restricted use of the death penalty.
• Support adoption of the 2012 UN General Assembly Resolution on a moratorium: in December 2012, the UN General Assembly will vote on a fourth resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
For World Day Against the Death Penalty events near you, please visit the World Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s calendar of events. And please remember to join us tomorrow at the U.S Vice Presidential debate at Kentucky’s Centre College.