Commitment of youth to universal abolition
On the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty in 2016, ECPM launched 2 contests involving the commitment of the youth: an international drawing contest “Draw-me the Abolition” in which12 countries took part (France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, DRC, Cameroun, Tanzania, Pakistan and Taiwan), open to junior and senior high school students. The goal was to create posters representing its commitment to the abolition. This competition was launched by ECPM together with the Teaching Abolition International Network. Also, a national YouTube-video contest for young youtubers #Causonsabolition (#letspeakaboutabolition) to which students from 6 high schools from 3 different regions in France participated. For this contest, the goal was to make videos against the death penalty. The videos are available on the YouTube channel of ECPM.
It’s important to underline the quality, creativity and relevance of all the abolitionist drawings and messages of the young participants.
Besides from rewarding the best drawings and videos selected by an international jury composed of numerous abolitionist actors, this event was also an occasion to raise awareness on the importance of human rights and to value the commitment of the youth.
Several dedicated activists participated to this ceremony. The main speakers included Alexandra Cordebard, Deputy Mayor of Paris in charge of Schools’ Affairs, François Croquette Human Rights Ambassador, Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan, ECPM executive Director, and 2 witnesses which participated actively to the educational project on human rights and the abolition of the death penalty: Sabine Atlaoui (Serge Atlaoui’s wife, sentenced to death in Indonesia) and Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner (Hank Skinner’s wife, sentenced to death in Texas).
François Croquette brought up some facts and figures on the death penalty underlining that “the use of the death penalty is declining, but not fast enough” and that the fight against the death penalty must go on as “nothing can be taken for granted”.
All the speakers highlighted the major role of the youth in the mobilization against the death penalty, especially Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan who pointed out that the authenticity and spontaneity of the youth provides more weight to the fight against the death penalty. In addition, as addressing the project,Sabine Atloui’s pointed out: “The commitment is done through education”.
The participants received different rewards and the 50 wining drawings presented in a catalogue will be exhibited at public awareness-raising events in all countries participating in this project and at the 7th World Congress Against the Death Penalty which will be held in Brussels in 2019.
Photo credit: @Christophe Meireis