20th World Day Against the Death Penalty – Death penalty: a road paved with torture

World Day

on 10 June 2022

Observed every 10 October, the World Day Against the Death Penalty unifies the global abolitionist movement and mobilizes civil society, political leaders, lawyers, public opinion and more to support the call for universal abolition of capital punishment. The day encourages and consolidates the political and general awareness of the world-wide movement against the death penalty. 

As the 20th World Day Against the Death Penalty is marked around the world, now is a time to consider and celebrate the gains the abolitionist movement has made over the past 20 years. Now, more than ever, abolitionist actors need to continue working towards the complete abolition of the death penalty worldwide, for all crimes. 

On 10 October 2022, the World Day will be dedicated to reflecting on the relationship between the use of the death penalty and torture or other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment. 


The types of torture and other ill-treatment experienced during the long death penalty road are varied and numerous: physical or psychological torture has been applied in many cases during questioning to force confessions to capital crimes; death row phenomenon contributes to the long-term psychological decline of a person’s health ; harsh death row living conditions contribute to physical deterioration ;  mental anguish of anticipating execution ; methods of execution that cause exceptional pain, and the suffering experienced by family members and those with a close relationship with the executed person. Discriminations based on sex, gender, poverty, age, sexual orientation, religious and ethnic minority status and others can compound cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of individuals sentenced to death.


(Statistics from Amnesty International)

  • 110 States have abolished the death penalty for all crimes
  • 7 States have abolished the death penalty for common law crimes
  • 27 States are abolitionists in practice
  • 55 States are retentionists 
  • The 5 States that executed the most in the world in 2021 are, in order: China, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. 
  • 28,670 individuals are known to be under a sentence of death around the world at the end of 2021. 


Scroll down and find more information about women and the death penalty in our leaflet, detailed factsheet, facts & figures sheet, and more!

Call for initiatives: 

Wherever you are… in Africa, America, Asia, Oceania or Europe, 

Whoever you are… NGOs, teachers, lawyers, local representatives, parliamentarians, artists, reporters, religious leaders, citizens, 

Whatever your plans are… debates, concerts, press conferences, demonstrations, petitions, educational and cultural activities…. 

Take action against the death penalty, on 10 October 2022!

Join the hundreds of initiatives organized worldwide. In 2021, despite the on-going challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic there were over 700 events planned in over 70 countries around the world! You can read more about the 2021 World Day in our World Day Report.

Developing World Day plans? Get in touch with the World Coalition to tell us about events scheduled on 10 October 2022.

10 Things YOU can do to end the death penalty 

(and for more ideas, check out our updated 2022 Mobilization Kit, also available in French. Mobilization Kits from 2021 are also available in Arabic and Traditional Chinese.):

Take action

  • Organize a gathering- a demonstration, a webinar, remote workshop, a debate or a movie screening, an art exhibition or theater performance.

  • Organize a visit in prison to raise awareness on the conditions of detentions of prisoners.

  • Build partnerships with minority group’s rights organizations (women, LGBTQIA+, religious minorities, ethnic minorities...) to raise awareness on how discriminations are an aggravating factor of the psychological and physical torture.

  • Participate in a TV show or within a community radio to raise awareness of the need to abolish the death penalty.

  • Write a letter to death row inmates or to their families to show support and fight isolation.

  • Join the events prepared for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide. Visit the World Coalition page for events near you!

  • Donate to a group working to end the death penalty.

  • Follow and repost the social media campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: #nodeathpenalty

  • Mobilize the media to raise awareness on torture experienced by those who are sentenced to death both locally and worldwide. Call for interviews, testimonies from death row detainees, investigations on local cases and raising awareness campaigns.

  • Participate in “Cities Against the Death Penalty/Cities for Life” on 30 November 2022.

  • Share the campaign

    Share the campaign
  • Previous World Day editions

    Related document(s)


    Mobilization Kit World Day 2022

    By the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 9 June 2022


    World Coalition

    More details Download [ pdf - 892 Ko ]

    For the 20th year in a row, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty is calling for local initiatives and world-wide actions that shine a spotlight on the abolition of the death penalty. The goal of this Mobilization Kit is to inform of this year’s objectives as well provide ideas of activities that boost the global abolitionist goal. This year’s World Day is dedicated to people who, during the process of being sentenced to death, or following the sentence of their death, have been victims of torture.


    World Day Poster 2022

    By the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 9 June 2022


    World Coalition

    More details Download [ pdf - 4097 Ko ]

    20th World Day on “Torture and the death penalty”.


    2021 World Day Report

    on 10 June 2022


    World Coalition


    More details Download [ pdf - 919 Ko ]

    On 10 October 2021, the World Coalition and abolitionists around the world celebrated the 19th World Day Against the Death Penalty (‘World Day’). Every year on World Day, the World Coalition highlights one problematic aspect of the Death Penalty. In 2021, the World Day explored the theme “Women sentenced to death, an invisible reality” to raise awareness on how the treatment of gender and gender-based inequalities create particularly precarious conditions for women sentenced to capital punishment. This report presents the activities organised for the 19th World Day and the media coverage it received.


    Facts and Figures 2021

    By the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 24 June 2022


    World Coalition

    More details Download [ pdf - 235 Ko ]

    Find the main facts and figures regarding the death penalty worldwide in 2021.


    Leaflet – World Day 2022

    By the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 24 June 2022

    World Coalition

    More details Download [ pdf - 1780 Ko ]

    Leaflet for the 20th World Day against the death penalty (2022), on torture and the death penalty.