2007 Campaign : developing the world abolitionist movement
On the programme for 2007: major mobilisation for the World Day Against the Death Penalty around the theme of “China in the context of the 2008 Olympic Games”; a campaign to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; regional studies on the death penalty in the Arab world and the African Great Lakes region; and development of the World Coalition’s communication tools and the launch of a new Internet site in particular.
June 2007: launch of the campaign to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Currently, 29 states which have abolished the death penalty in law have not yet ratified the Second Optional Protocol, the only international irreversibly binding abolitionist instrument. On the basis of the conclusions of an internal survey concentrating on the obstacles to ratification, the World Coalition plans to lead a campaign in support of ratification, targeting four countries in particular: Cambodia, Chile, Senegal and Ukraine.
10 October 2007: mobilisation around the theme of China during the World Day Against the Death Penalty
Official statistics on China’s application of the death penalty remain a state secret. However, it is estimated that nearly 10,000 people are allegedly executed every year, which would represent 95% of death sentences worldwide. Nevertheless, the Chinese authorities have introduced significant reforms over the last few years which provide hope for an improvement in the quality of trials and greater transparency as regards convictions.
China will be under the world’s spotlight until the next Olympic Games begin in Beijing in 2008 and the World Coalition would like to seize this opportunity to support China’s abolitionists, encourage the reforms underway and mobilise the international community in this direction.
The death penalty in the Arab world and the African Great Lakes region
Who is involved in abolition in North Africa and the Middle East and what are its prospects? A comprehensive study will concentrate on this question in order to propose paths for common action to the region’s abolitionists and support their actions with arguments adapted to the regional political and cultural context.
A similar study will be carried out in the African Great Lakes region which will place particular focus on ways to support and consolidate the reforms underway.
Information on the World Coalition’s activities, its members and those involved in abolition across the world will be widely circulated through the Coalition’s new Internet site, to be launched in June 2007, and a monthly bilingual (French and English) newsletter.