World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October, 2007

The Death Penalty
Stop the Death Penalty: the World Decides © WCADP

At the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) 62nd session in October 2007, a resolution calling for a global moratorium on executions will be introduced as a step towards the abolition of the death penalty. This resolution is expected to be supported by countries from all regions of the world.

Endorsement by the UNGA of a global moratorium on executions would be a significant milestone towards achieving the goal of a death penalty-free world.

Amnesty International is mobilizing support for the resolution, along with the World Coalition against the Death Penalty (WCADP) and other non-governmental organizations, at the UNGA’s 62nd session in New York in October.

The WCADP will highlight this initiative on the annual World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October: the slogan this year is “Stop the Death Penalty: the World Decides”.

The WCADP is running a global petition, based on the 2000 UN petition launched by the Community of Saint Egidio and Amnesty International. That petition has gathered 5 million signatures so far.

International Campaign

St. Egidio CommunityComunità di Sant’Edigio
NO to the Death Penalty
International Campaign

We, the undersigned, are convinced that the death penalty:

  • Is the denial of the right to life, which is universally recognized
  • Is the final, cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment, no less horrible than torture
  • Is inadeguate to stop violence; it actually legitimizes the most complete violence which cuts off human life by the state and society
  • Dehumanizes our world by putting vengeance and reprisal first; it eliminates clemency, forgiveness and rehabilitation by the justice system

We invite all, even those who support the use of the death penalty, to reflect in a serene way on the need for the suspension of executions

In fact:

  • Today more than half of the countries of the world do not use the death penalty; some have abolished it completely, while others do not apply it
  • The United Nations recognizes that there is no data that can demonstrate that its use is an effective deterrent against even the most hideous crimes
  • In those places where the death penalty has been reintroduced capital crimes have not been reduced
  • There are effective alternative methods to protect society from those who commit the most horrible crimes
  • The cruel logic of “a life for a life” is considered to be archaic and is unacceptable to many on the planet
  • Almost everywhere the judiciary system is trying to find ways to do away with this inhumane way of dealing with people who committed crimes, even the most horrible ones
  • In democratic countries, the cost of the death penalty is higher than life imprisonment


World Day against the death penalty: the world decides!

Stop the Death Penalty: the World Decides © WCADPOn 10 October 2007, the World Day against the Death Penalty will focus on the proposed UN General Assembly resolution for a universal moratorium on executions. The proposal would save lives and give the population of retentionist states an opportunity to see for themselves that a pause in death sentences does not lead to higher crime rates.

A resolution by the UN’s highest political body would be an important international milestone in the campaign to abolish the death penalty worldwide and would carry considerable moral weight.

This initiative has already gathered the support of 5 million people worldwide.

Call to initiatives

On 10 October 2007, take action against the death penalty

  • Join the hundreds of initiatives worldwide
  • Spread the international petition calling for a universal moratorium on the death penalty (available on, 1 September)
  • Get your government to support the UN General Assembly is resolution for a global moratorium.

Wherever you are

  • In Africa, America, Asia, Oceania or Europe

Whoever you are

  • NGO, teachers, lawyers, local representatives, parliamentarians, artists, reporters, religious leaders, citizens

Whatever your plans are

  • Debates, concerts, press conferences, demonstrations, petitions, educational and cultural activities, etc.

Additional materials: (pdf files)