Initiatives of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty mark the 7th World Day against the Death Penalty on Saturday, 10 October 2009. Every year since 2003 abolitionists have organized events around the world on this day to say No to the death penalty. This year, across five continents, petitions, round tables, discussions, debates and exhibitions are planned. To see the complete program of scheduled events, visit : www.worldcoalition.org/worldday
The World Coalition against the death penalty decided to devote the 2009 edition of World Day to the theme “teaching abolition”.
By encouraging debates on the death penalty on 10th October, the members of the World Coalition would like pupils and students to understand the state of the world they are living in : the severity, and sometimes cruelty, but also the beauty of the human rights ideal. The aim is for them to acquire fundamental knowledge and understand why the death penalty is an attack on basic rights. This campaign will focus on teaching abolition to the citizens throughout the world and particularly students between 14 and 18 years of age. Several mobilization tools have been developed and are available on the World coalition website : a pedagogical guide and a law school curriculum on Capital punishment.
Every year the world takes another step towards universal abolition. In 2009 : new countries have abolished the death penalty -Burundi, Togo, the State of New Mexico (USA) ; or commuted all death sentences –Kenya, Morocco ; others have reduced the range of crimes punishable by death –Vietnam, Kazakhstan, and Nicaragua and Brazil have ratified the UN Protocol to abolish the death penalty. Today 139 States have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the child, the World Coalition calls on the four countries which are still executing juvenile offenders : Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen, to stop their executions. A Petition to End All Juvenile Executions is available on the World Coalition website.
According to Amnesty International, in total, 24 juvenile offenders were executed in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Yemen between January 2007 and June 2009.
Aurélie Plaçais -WCADP
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