The World Coalition launched its action programme in favour of the UN Protocol to abolish the death penalty on 21 October in Geneva.
The World Coalition presented its campaign for the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights during the 67th Session of the Human Rights Committee, the UN body monitoring the implementation of the Protocol.
The event took place a few days after the World Day against the Death Penalty, and just one month after Brazil acceded to the Protocol.
Some by 25 participants including 3 ambassadors, the President of the Human Rights Committee and members of the World Coalition attended.
World Coalition campaigner Aurélie Plaçais told them that, after two years of research and campaign design, the time was right to kick-start lobbying efforts as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Protocol.
10 target countries
She said that the goal of the campaign's opening year was to get five of the 10 target countries to ratify the Protocol, which abolishes the death penalty in an irreversible way. Advocacy efforts started with a focus on Latvia and El Salvador. “We have chosen them because they are already abolitionist in law, they are parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and they have shown strong support for the abolition of capital punishment” in the UN General Assembly, she explained. Other countries will be targeted in later phases.
“Once the majority of countries have ratified it, the Protocol will serve as the instrument that outlaws the death penalty in international law,” she added.
The World Coalition also called on several state parties to the treaty to become “Friends of the Protocol” and actively support its lobbying of target countries. Spain was the first to endorse the campaign officially on October 30.
Although representatives from target countries did not attend the meeting itself, side discussions with several of them yielded positive response.
Click here to find out more about the World Coalition’s campaign in favour of the Protocol