INTERNATIONAL DEATH PENALTY ABOLITION DAY

International Death Penalty Abolition Day (1 March 2008)
 1 March is International Death Penalty Abolition Day, a day that marks the occasion in 1847 when the state of Michigan became the first English-speaking territory in the world to abolish capital punishment. The death penalty is a violation of human rights. Abolition of the death penalty is an evolving standard of international law. Below you will find links to information on the status of the death penalty worldwide, abolition of the death penalty campaigns and learning materials to be used in classrooms or public education  campaigns.

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 Selected learning materials

Study Guide on the Right to Life
This guide provides a brief introduction into safeguards to protect the human rights to life, including international standards against the death penalty and extra-judicial killings. http://www.hrea.org/index.php?base_id=159

Death Penalty Curricula for High School
This curriculum addresses history of the death penalty, arguments for and against, court cases on the death penalty and additional resources. The site includes two sample units plans for teachers. Each of the units involves an extensive amount of group work, simulations, persuasive and individual essay writing, and class participation.  http://www.hrea.org/index.php?base_id=104&language_id=1&erc_doc_id=335&category_id=18&category_type=3&group=

International standards on the death penalty
This document gives extracts of international and regional instruments (treaties, declarations) relevant to the abolition or restriction of the death penalty, arranged by subject. Among other things, the instruments set forth safeguards and restrictions on the death penalty. The appendix of this document includes the texts of the relevant sections of the instruments.  http://www.hrea.org/index.php?base_id=104&language_id=1&erc_doc_id=1283&category_id=23&category_type=3&group=

Useful Links

Declaration by Senator Feingold in the United States Congress marking the first International Abolition Day, 1 March 2000

World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

The Death Penalty: Questions and Answers PDF file

International treaties to abolish the death penalty:
– Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty (1989)  http://www.hrea.org/index.php?base_id=104&language_id=1&erc_doc_id=454&category_id=24&category_type=3&group=Human%20rights%20treaties%20and%20other%20instruments
– Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention on Human (1983) 
– Protocol No. 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights (2002)
– Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty (1990)

Council of Europe Theme File on Death Penalty

Amnesty International Website Against the Death Penalty

Amnesty International-USA’s Program to Abolish the Death Penalty

The Death Penalty in the United States (Human Rights Watch)

Death Penalty Information Center (USA)

http://www.hrea.org/index.php?base_id=318

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