The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, an alliance of over 150 NGOs, bar associations, local bodies and unions, was created in Rome on 13 May 2002. It was founded as a result of the commitment made by the signatories of the Final Declaration of the 1st World Congress Against the Death Penalty organised by the French NGO Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) in Strasbourg (France) in June 2001.
The aim of the World Coalition is to strengthen the international dimension of the fight against the death penalty. Its ultimate objective is to obtain the definitive abolition of death sentences and executions in those countries where the death penalty is in force. In some countries, it is seeking to obtain a reduction in the use of capital punishment as a first step towards abolition.
The World Coalition is striving to achieve these aims in the following ways:
by lobbying international organisations and States;
by organising international events;
by facilitating the creation and development of national and regional coalitions against the death penalty.
Complementing the action of members
The World Coalition gives a global dimension to the sometimes isolated action taken by its members on the ground. It complements their initiatives, while constantly respecting their independence.
In conformity with the commitment made by its founders, the Coalition has also made 10 October the World Day Against the Death Penalty. The first occurrence of this annual event took place in 2003. It also co-organises the World Congress Against the Death Penalty, which is held every three years.
The Coalition promotes international action taken by its members, such as the “Cities Against the Death Penalty” operation launched by the Sant’Egidio community.
In addition to those long-term tasks, it will on occasion take urgent action to help those sentenced to death.