United since 2002
The participants to the first World Congress Against the Death Penalty, initiated and organised by the French NGO Together Against the Death Penalty, adopted the Strasbourg Declaration on 22 June 2001 in the hemicycle of the Council of Europe. In paragraph 9, the signatories pledged to “create a world-wide co-ordination of abolitionist associations and campaigners, whose first goal will be to launch a world-wide day for the universal abolition of the death penalty”.
After several preparatory meetings in Paris and Brussels, most of the initiative’s protagonists met in Rome on 13 May 2002 to create officially the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. An 11-member Steering Committee was selected and subsequently renewed at each AGM.
World Days and Congresses
In 2003, the World Coalition created the first World Day Against the Death Penalty. This initiative was expressed through more than 180 local initiatives across the world. Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, Belgium, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the European Union officially supported the World Day.
Since then, October 10 has continued to attract new initiatives. Since 2005, when more than 260 events took place, the World Day Against the Death Penalty has highlighted a particular theme each year.
In 2007, the Council of Europe and the European Union officially recognised the World Day as European Day Against the Death Penalty.
Having previously been involved in the organisation of the 2nd World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Montreal in 2004, the World Coalition is now a partner of this major international abolitionist meeting held every three years and organised by Together Against the Death Penalty.
The 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty is organised by ECPM in partnership with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty to federate abolitionist actors and to create new strategies towards universal abolition.
On 10 October 2016, the 14th World Day Against the Death Penalty is raising awareness around the application of the death penalty for terrorism-related offences, to reduce its use.