United States

World Coalition Steering Committee member

The Advocates for Human Rights

The mission of The Advocates for Human Rights is to implement international human rights standards in order to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law. By involving volunteers in research, education, and advocacy, The Advocates build broad constituencies in the United States and select global communities.

In 1991, The Advocates adopted a formal commitment to oppose the death penalty worldwide and organized a death penalty project to provide pro bono assistance on post-conviction appeals, as well as education and advocacy to end capital punishment. The Advocates collaborates with members of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty to engage in documentation and advocacy on death penalty issues with United Nations and regional human rights mechanisms. It has conducted trainings and workshops with Coalition members on four continents on human rights fact-finding, monitoring, documentation, and advocacy to end the death penalty. It maintains a database of upcoming deadlines for civil society engagement with human rights mechanisms, available at https://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/deadlines. It also offers a free 400-page toolkit called Human Rights Tools for a Changing World, available at https://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/change. The Advocates is unable to finance abolitionist activities of other organizations but it welcomes proposals for collaboration, including technical assistance and capacity-building with Coalition members. Proposals that have the potential to engage The Advocates’ pro bono volunteers are particularly welcome.

Date founded

1983             

Structure type

NGO             

World Coalition Steering Committee member

Contact informations

330 South Second Avenue
Suite 800
MN 55401 Minneapolis
Phone +1 612.746.4694
Fax +1 612.341.2971

Resources

Document(s)

The Philippines – Universal Periodic Review – Death Penalty – March 2022

on 31 March 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Philippines


More details Download [ pdf - 320 Ko ]

1. This report addresses the Philippines’ compliance with its international human rights
obligations with respect to the death penalty. For years, the Philippines imposed the death
penalty, particularly for so-called heinous crimes. In 2006, President Gloria MacapagalArroyo abolished the death penalty.1 Since then, however, lawmakers have introduced
numerous bills to reinstate the death penalty, with the House adopting Bill No. 7814 as
recently as March 2, 2021.2

2. The report examines the current state of the death penalty in the Philippines, including (1)
acceptance of international norms; (2) proposed legislation reintroducing the death penalty;
(3) torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment in enforcing drug control; (4)
conditions of detention; and (5) administration of justice and fair trial.

3. This report recommends that the Philippines continue the abolition of the death penalty,
refrain from reintroducing the death penalty, honor its international commitments, and
implement a human rights-based approach to anti-drug policy

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Philippines

Document(s)

Cuba – Committee Against Torture – Death Penalty – March 2022

on 21 March 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Cuba


More details Download [ pdf - 250 Ko ]

Cuba has maintained a de facto moratorium on the imposition of the death penalty since its last reported execution in 2003. In 2010, Cuba’s Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of Cuba’s last remaining death row inmate. As of the date of this report, there is no record of an individual currently sentenced to death. Although a de facto moratorium is in place, Cuba has not committed to a de jure abolition of the death penalty, citing national security concerns.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Cuba
  • Themes list Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Document(s)

Iraq – Committee Against Torture – Death Penalty – March 2022

on 18 March 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Iraq


More details Download [ pdf - 250 Ko ]

This report provides an update to the coauthors’ report at the List of issues stage and responds to the State party’s responses to the Committee’s questions in the List of issues that touch on the death penalty.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Iraq

Document(s)

Kenya – Committee Against Torture – Death Penalty – March 2022

on 18 March 2022


NGO report

World Coalition

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment


More details Download [ pdf - 393 Ko ]

Kenya has not carried out any executions since the late 1980s. Nonetheless, Kenya continues to hand down the death penalty as a sentence in criminal cases. Accordingly, this report recommends that the Committee Against Torture recommend that Kenya formally abolish the death penalty, commute the sentences of all persons on death row, and revise laws to remove capital punishment from the list of principal sentences. Kenya should further take steps to prohibit introduction of evidence obtained through torture and ill-treatment in criminal proceedings and to ensure that all persons at risk of being sentenced to death have access to well-qualified legal counsel with adequate funding for a thorough pre-trial investigation. Kenya should ensure that no person is removed to a country where they may be at risk of being sentenced to death, and should take concrete steps to ensure that conditions of detention for persons under sentence of death comply with the Nelson Mandela Rules.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Themes list Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Document(s)

Malawi – Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – Death Penalty – January 2022

on 31 January 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Malawi

Women


More details Download [ pdf - 311 Ko ]

Detention conditions for women in Malawi are crowded, and women in prisons are not given adequate food and nutrition. Specifically, many prisons only serve people with one meal a day, often consisting of a maize meal (nsima) and peas or beans. Overcrowded conditions are a particular concern during the COVID-19 pandemic, when risk of transmission of the disease is high. Prison conditions in Malawi amount to inhuman and degrading treatment.

Women in death penalty proceedings in Malawi lack access to qualified legal representation. Defense advocates in Malawi who are assigned to capital cases often lack relevant experience. In at least one case, a lawyer failed to raise the complete defense of self-defense in representing a woman who killed her husband as a result of a long history of domestic abuse. Had the defense been raised, it is possible that the woman would not have been sentenced to death. Moreover, women from poor and marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by the death penalty because when they are accused of crimes, they are often unable to understand the charges against them because they are illiterate and cannot read the complaint against them. They are also unable to retain private counsel.

Women who face extensive gender-based violence are disproportionately affected by the death penalty in Malawi, including those who seek to protect themselves against their abusers. Long histories of gender-based violence can result in complex trauma and can exacerbate psycho-social or intellectual disabilities, yet sentencing courts fail to take these nefarious effects into account as factors in mitigation of a death sentence.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Malawi
  • Themes list Women

Document(s)

Qatar – Human Rights Committee – Death Penalty – January 2022

on 31 January 2022


NGO report

World Coalition

Qatar


More details Download [ pdf - 236 Ko ]

Qatar had been maintaining a de facto moratorium on executions since 2000, but courts continued to sentence people to death. In 2020, however, Qatar executed a Nepali migrant worker by firing squad. Qatar’s death penalty practices are not in compliance with the Covenant. Qatar does not limit the death penalty to the most serious crimes, it is not taking steps toward a de jure moratorium on executions or ratification of the Second Optional Protocol, and it does not ensure that defendants in capital cases have a fair trial. Recent history suggests that a migrant worker may be more likely to be sentenced to death and executed for killing a Qatari national, as opposed to a non-citizen. Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable in the context of the country’s criminal legal system.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Qatar

Document(s)

Uganda – Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – Death Penalty – January 2022

on 12 January 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Uganda

Women


More details Download [ pdf - 243 Ko ]

This report addresses Uganda’s compliance with its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women with respect to the death penalty. The report examines and discusses Ugandan death penalty laws and cases where women are sentenced to death row in Uganda, primarily for murder.

This report recommends that Uganda adopt a number of key recommendations to better align its death penalty practices with Uganda’s obligations to women under the Convention. These steps, among other things, include: (1) abolishing the death penalty and in the interim, limiting the death penalty to only the most serious crimes of intentional killing of another human; (2) ensuring proper gender-sensitive training in the judicial system and protecting women in conflict with the law when gender-based violence is involved; (3) developing and implementing programs to prevent gender-based violence and discrimination; and (4) ensuring fair access to counsel to women sentenced to death or at risk of being sentenced to death.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Uganda
  • Themes list Women

Document(s)

Lebanon – Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – Death Penalty

on 12 January 2022


NGO report

World Coalition

Lebanon

Women


More details Download [ pdf - 1599 Ko ]

This report addresses Lebanon’s compliance with human rights obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women regarding its use of the death penalty.

Lebanon has not abolished the death penalty or established a de jure moratorium on the death penalty. The legal system does not protect women in conflict with the law from discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. Nor does it limit capital offenses to the “most serious” crimes.

Women migrant domestic workers appear to be at an elevated risk of being sentenced to death. Indeed, all three women known to be on death row in Lebanon are Sri Lankan migrant domestic workers. Such women face heightened obstacles to realizing their right to a fair trial. Moreover, there is no evidence that sentencing authorities take into account a woman’s history of abuse when determining an appropriate sentence. Finally, women under sentence of death face degrading conditions of detention.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Lebanon
  • Themes list Women

Document(s)

Yemen – Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – Death Penalty – September 2021

on 20 September 2021


2021

NGO report

World Coalition

Women

Yemen


More details Download [ pdf - 272 Ko ]

Women in conflict with the law in Yemen are at risk of experiencing gender-based discrimination within the legal system and while detained. Such discrimination is particularly acute when women are at risk of being sentenced to death. For example, in Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen, women are in danger of being sentenced to death for “spying,” often based primarily on the conduct of their male family members. In parts of the country controlled by the internationally recognized Government of Yemen, women accused of capital offenses are denied legal aid to mount a successful defense. And because of the mandatory nature of the death penalty for crimes such as murder, courts do not take into account an accused woman’s experiences of gender-based violence that may have motivated her actions. Women are also often financially unable to gather sufficient resources to pay “blood money” to victims’ families. Detention conditions for women, particularly in Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen, amount to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment and in some cases prison authorities torture women detainees.

Because of continued internal conflict in Yemen, there is limited official data regarding the number of women currently sentenced to death. For the same reason, there is only limited information regarding detention conditions of women sentenced to death.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Yemen
  • Themes list Women

Document(s)

The Maldives – Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – Death Penalty – September 2021

on 20 September 2021


NGO report

World Coalition

Maldives


More details Download [ pdf - 263 Ko ]

The Maldives’ continued use of the death penalty undermines government efforts and commitments to end gender-based discrimination. The death penalty invites discriminatory sentences against women for adultery and other crimes of sexual immorality, as well as for acting as accomplices to murder committed by male counterparts. Capital punishment promotes negative stereotypes about women and reinforces discriminatory gender roles. The possibility of facing the death penalty also discourages human rights defenders from civic engagement on a number of human rights issues, including women’s human rights.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Maldives

Document(s)

19th World Day Against the Death Penalty – Engaging the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council: Women and the Death Penalty

By World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Reprieve, FIACAT, The Advocates for Human Rights, on 10 August 2021


2021

Working with...

Women

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 454 Ko ]

While the methods in this tool are applicable beyond the scope of capital punishment, for the 19th World Day Against the Death Penalty, Reprieve and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty have drafted this How-To on engaging the United Nations (UN) Special Procedures for elevating cases pertaining to women who have been sentenced to the death penalty.

Document(s)

Uganda – Universal Periodic Review – Death Penalty – July 2021

on 21 July 2021


2021

NGO report

World Coalition

Uganda


More details Download [ pdf - 336 Ko ]

This report addresses Uganda’s compliance with its international human rights obligations with respect to the death penalty. The report examines and discusses the current state of the death penalty in Uganda, including (1) the broad scope of crimes that are eligible for the death penalty; (2) the lack of effective access to counsel in capital cases; (3) the occurrence of extrajudicial killings.

This report recommends that Uganda adopt a number of key steps to better align its death penalty practices with Uganda’s international human rights obligations. These steps include the following: establishing an official, de jure moratorium on the death penalty; reducing the number and scope of crimes that are eligible for the death penalty; reducing the maximum possible sentence from death to one that is fair, proportionate and in compliance with international human rights standards; and other measures

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Uganda

Document(s)

Zimbabwe – Universal Periodic Review – Death Penalty – July 2021

By Eleos Justice, Monash University, on 15 July 2021


2021

NGO report

World Coalition

Zimbabwe


More details Download [ pdf - 271 Ko ]

This report addresses Zimbabwe’s compliance with its human rights obligations with respect to its use of the death penalty. The United Nations considers Zimbabwe a de facto abolitionist country. It has not carried out any executions since 2005. Courts, however, continue to sentence individuals to death, with 88 people currently on death row as of December 2020, after 8 sentences were commuted in April 2020. The new Zimbabwean Constitution (the “2013 Constitution”) has replaced the mandatory death penalty with a discretionary sentence for the crime of murder committed under aggravating circumstances. The 2013 Constitution further outlaws the imposition of the death penalty on women, men over the age of 70, and men under the age of 21 at the time the offence was committed. In its 2016 Universal Periodic Review, Zimbabwe noted all recommendations related to the death penalty, partly on the ground that Zimbabwean public opinion did not support abolition of death penalty. Since 2016, developments demonstrate a more positive attitude among the public and opinion leaders toward further reform and the abolition of death penalty.

This report focuses on various issues concerning the death penalty and related international human rights instruments, and on conditions of detention and acts of torture and ill treatment of people in detention. Specifically, this report recommends that Zimbabwe abolish the death penalty, improve detention conditions, ratify relevant human rights treaties, and increase resources dedicated to improving the justice system.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Zimbabwe

Document(s)

Detailed Factsheet: Women and the Death Penalty

By World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, The Advocates for Human Rights, on 1 July 2021


2021

Campaigning

Women

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 534 Ko ]

On 10 October 2021, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and other abolitionist organizations worldwide will celebrate the 19th World Day Against the Death Penalty.

This year, the World Day is dedicated to women who risk being sentenced to death, who have received a death sentence, who have been executed, and to those who have had their death sentences commuted, exonerated, or pardoned.

This detailed factsheet will use the phrase “women sentenced to death” as an inclusive phrase for all of these categories. As women represent a small percentage of those on death row globally, very little has been reported about these women. Yet we can learn much by analyzing their crimes, their lives prior to the crimes, and the conditions under which they are detained on death row.

Document(s)

PRIMER ON TRANSGENDER INDIVIDUALS FACING THE DEATH PENALTY

By World Coalition Against the Death Penalty; FIACAT; The Advocates for Human Rights; Cornell Center on the DP Worldwide, on 30 June 2021


2021

Campaigning

Women

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 450 Ko ]

On 10 October 2021, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and other abolitionist organizations worldwide will celebrate the 19th World Day Against the Death Penalty.

This year the World Day is dedicated to women who risk being sentenced to death, who have received a death sentence, who have been executed, and to those who have had their death sentences commuted, have been exonerated or pardoned. Included in this theme, are trans women and other gender diverse individuals, who are a minority on death row but who are discriminated against on the basis of gender.

Capital punishment disproportionately targets socially marginalized individuals; it is no different for transgender people, who may face discrimination in every aspect of their lives.

Document(s)

Cameroon – Committee to Eliminate Racial Discrimination – Death Penalty – March 2020

By RACOPEM, ACAT Cameroun, on 21 March 2020


2020

NGO report

World Coalition

Cameroon


More details Download [ pdf - 1898 Ko ]

This report addresses Cameroon’s compliance with human rights obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, particularly with respect to the imposition of the death penalty against Anglophone Cameroonians.

By way of background, the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon began in 2016 as peaceful protests by lawyers and teachers demanding linguistic reforms but rapidly escalated into a war of secession that has killed thousands of people and displaced over one million.

The Cameroonian Criminal Code adopted in 2016 allows for the death penalty, including for vaguely defined terrorism-related offences. In this regard, the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2014 has been used to prosecute Anglophone human rights activists before military courts for acts of terrorism, secession, rebellion, and spreading false news, with the death penalty as a potential sentence in such cases.

While Cameroon ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1984, it has yet to ratify its Second Optional Protocol aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (ICCPR-OP2). Although no execution has taken place in Cameroon since 1997, civil society organizations estimate that 220 people currently are under sentence of death in Cameroon.

As discussed below, Cameroon fails to uphold its obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination because its domestic law and institutional and political framework do not sufficiently protect Anglophones facing the death penalty.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Cameroon

Document(s)

10 Steps to Writing a UPR Stakeholder Report

By The Advocates for Human Rights, on 1 January 2014


2014

Working with...


More details See the document

This four-page document proposes a roadmap for organisations interested in submitting reports to the United Nations’ Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights.

  • Document type Working with...
  • Themes list International law,

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