Kazakhstan Ratifies the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR

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By Aurélie Plaçais, on 1 April 2022

Kazakhstan ratified the UN treaty aiming at the abolition of the death penalty on 24 March 2022.

A year after the Parliament passed the bill authorizing the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, the instruments of ratification were deposited with the United Nations Secretary General. 

Kazakhstan has observed a moratorium on executions since 2003, and started procedures to join the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR in December 2019 after the President instructed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in this regard. Kazakhstan officially signed the Protocol on 23 September 2020, yet ratification further required the approval of the Parliament. Kazakhstan also had to modify its Criminal Code to abolish the death penalty for all crimes.

Among obligations incumbent upon Kazakhstan after ratification of the Protocol are the prohibition of executions (Article 1.1 of the Protocol) and the adoption of all domestic measures aiming to formaly repeal capital punishement (Article 1.2 of the Protocol). The Protocol will enter into force on 24 June 2022 (Article 8 of the Protocol).

90 UN Member States, out of the 173 States which are currently parties to the ICCPR, have now joined the Protocol.



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