European Day Against the Death Penalty

Quick Facts

AKA NameEuropean and World Day Against the Death Penalty
HashtagsCompiled on#DeathPenalty
2024 Date10 October 2024
2025 Date10 October 2025

European Day Against the Death Penalty

European Day Against the Death Penalty in

European Day Against the Death Penalty History

European Day Against the Death Penalty is aimed at raising awareness about the importance of human dignity and the abolition of capital punishment. This day is dedicated to educating and informing the public about the human rights violations associated with the death penalty, the inhumanity of the practice, and the call for its universal abolition. The initiative is strongly supported by the European Union, which stands firmly against the death penalty in all circumstances and for all cases, promoting a culture of respect for the right to life and human dignity, as well as fostering effective crime prevention strategies.

The history of the European Day Against the Death Penalty dates back to 2007, when it was first established by the Council of Europe and the European Union. The observance highlights the fact that, since the abolition of the death penalty, Europe has become a virtually death penalty-free region. European Day Against the Death Penalty underlines the European Union's commitment to promoting human rights norms and values and encouraging other countries to follow suit.

To observe European Day Against the Death Penalty, various activities such as workshops, conferences, panel discussions, and other public events are organized. These initiatives focus on the reasons behind the EU's opposition to capital punishment and emphasize the necessity of eradicating this practice globally. European Day Against the Death Penalty is commemorated annually on October 10th, coinciding with the World Day Against the Death Penalty.

Top facts and quotes about European Day Against the Death Penalty

  • The theme for European Day Against the Death Penalty in 2023 was The death penalty: An irreversible torture
  • In 2024, there are 53 countries that maintain the death penalty in law and practice.
    As of 2023, 112 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes.
  • There are 6 methods of execution used in the remaining countries that support the death penalty. They are decapitation, hanging, lethal injection, shooting, stoning and gas chambers.
  • In any case, frequent punishments are a sign of weakness or slackness in the government. There is no man so bad that he cannot be made good for something. No man should be put to death, even as an example, if he can be left to live without danger to society ― Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
  • I believe [...] that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. ― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

European Day Against the Death Penalty Top Things to Do

  • Write to a prisoner on death row. There are organisations that can facilitate this; try Prison Fellowship, Black and Pink or Write A Prisoner.
  • Join the events prepared for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide and support urgent appeals and take part in social media action in the lead up to 10 October. Tweet using the hashtag #nodeathpenalty.
  • Participate in Cities Against the Death Penalty/Cities for Life on November 30, 2015. The event brings together thousands of people to show public support for the abolitionist cause.
  • Organize an art exhibition (photo, drawings, posters) or a theatre performance such as Dead Man Walking which was adapted from Sister Helen Preteen’s book about her experiences as a chaplain on death row.
  • Watch a film or documentary about the death penalty and the criminal justice system. Our suggestions include:
    1) Paths of Glory
    2) The Thin Blue Line
    3) The Green Mile

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