Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (10 October) on the occasion of the World Day against the Death Penalty:
The death penalty should be abolished around the world!
The reasons for this are clear. The death penalty runs counter to human dignity and the right to life. It is inhumane and futile – research into this issue has shown that the death penalty does not deter potential offenders from committing crimes. Moreover, there is a risk that innocent people will be executed in the event of miscarriages of justice. Together with our European partners and many other countries, we are therefore calling for the universal abolition of the death penalty and for the execution of death sentences to be suspended throughout the world.
In recent decades, more and more countries have restricted or abolished the death penalty. However, around a fifth of the 193 UN member states continue to execute people today.
In September, the Human Rights Council of the United Nations adopted a resolution calling on states to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocol aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. Supporting initiatives to abolish the death penalty is a priority of German human rights policy. The German Government advocates the abolition of the death penalty in talks with governments worldwide and supports civil society projects on this issue.