Efforts Towards the Abolition of the Death Penalty: Challenges and Prospects
The Norwegian Centre for Human Rights welcomes you to a conference on international, regional and national efforts towards ensuring the abolition of the death penalty.
This conference will feature the participation of various renowned speakers who will convene to take stock of the developments in the area of the abolition of the death penalty over the last years.
For more information and to sign up, see the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights website
About the Conference:
Significant work and efforts at the international, regional, and national levels have gone into ensuring the abolition of the death penalty or imposing a moratorium on its implementation. Many actors have been involved in these ongoing efforts, including States, international and regional organizations’ representatives, various human rights mechanisms and experts, and civil society organizations. Significant discussions have taken place at one of the most important international forums, namely the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). In 2007, the first time a resolution on a moratorium for executions was adopted by the UNGA, only 104 States voted in favour.
On 16 December 2020, the UNGA plenary session adopted a resolution on a moratorium on executions, with a view to fully abolishing the death penalty, after 123 States voted in favor. This shows some gradual progress over the years, though perhaps not as fast-paced as hoped. The Human Rights Council and the UN Human Rights Committee (HRCttee or Committee) have engaged with this issue over many years. The second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) has been ratified by 89 States. General Comment 36 on the right to life adopted in 2018 is especially important for the work of the Committee. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, with its mandate to promote and protect all human rights, advocates for the universal abolition of the death penalty.
Besides work at the international level through various UN mechanisms, some regional organizations are actively working on the abolition of the death penalty, whereas others are discussing moratoriums and other measures to restrict the death penalty to the most serious crimes. The Council of Europe (CoE) and the European Union (EU) have been working on this issue for decades. With these developments and activities in mind, this international conference will convene to take stock of the developments in this area over the last years, since the 3rd Oslo International Symposium on Capital Punishment, held from 6-8 December 2015.
The aim of this conference is to provide a broad picture of the work concerning the abolition and prevention of the death penalty from various important actors. To that aim, we have invited several distinguished speakers that will inform us of the institutional work being done and reflect on the process of the abolition of the death penalty and remaining challenges and prospects.