World Coalition publishes abolition guide for parliamentarians
The World Coalition, in partnership with Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) and Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA) hosted a reception on the eve of PGA’s 36th Annual Forum held in Rabat (Morocco) on December 4-5 2014 to launch a resource aimed at supporting the work of parliamentarians towards abolition of the death penalty in their country and worldwide.
The event saw the participation of parliamentarians from all over the world, from both abolitionist and retentionist countries. The World Coalition, represented by its director Maria Donatelli, had the honour to welcome Moroccan MP Nouzha Skalli, spokesperson of the Moroccan Parliamentarian network on the abolition of the death penalty; Ruth Wijdenbosch, vice-speaker of the National Assembly of Suriname and board member of PGA; and Lebanese MP Ghassan Moukheiber to address the audience together with the author of “Parliamentarians and the abolition of the death penalty – a resource”, Frank Warburton.
“This handbook must be a living tool: we welcome comments from parliamentarians and other stakeholders to improve it and adapt it even more to the needs of the legislators that are fighting towards abolition of the death penalty locally and globally”, Warburton said.
A new tool to fight the death penalty
“Parliamentarians and the abolition of the death penalty – a resource” is a new tool published by the World Coalition to provide parliamentarians with all the necessary information and arguments to work on bills providing for the abolition of the death penalty in their country or to support the efforts of colleagues in retentionist countries.
The guide provides some background and context concerning both the death penalty and the role that parliamentarians may have in the process towards abolition.
It gives parliamentarians arguments in favour of abolition of the death penalty and familiarises them with arguments against it, to help them react in front of opposition to their work. The arguments are mainly divided into four categories: the human rights case, the death penalty as a deterrent, the idea that there is a mandate for the death penalty and the costs of capital punishment.
The author suggests different types of action legislators can undertake, stressing the need to create networks and platforms of parliamentarians at the national, regional and global level. This is in line with the action of World Coalition members ECPM and PGA, respectively at the local and global level.