An unmissable moment for abolitionist activists, the World Congress Against the Death Penalty encourages States to make concrete commitments, mobilises public opinion and helps develop joint strategies. The 7th Congress will be held in Brussels, Europe’s capital, from 26 February to 1 March 2019. It is organised by ECPM, in partnership with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, and is supported by Belgium, the European Parliament, Switzerland, the European Union and Norway.
For more information about the provisional programme, please download the dossier:
“7th World Congress Against the Death Penalty”
4 days, 5 locations, 115 countries represented and more than 1,500 abolitionists expected
The 7th World Congress will be held over 4 days.
On 26 February, a number of side events will be organised by abolitionist actors from across the world at Egmont Palace.
The Opening Ceremony will be held on 27 February in the morning in the prestigious hemicycle of the European Parliament. This event will provide evidence of the very high level of political involvement in the Congress in support of the abolitionist movement.
An academic programme will follow on 28 February and 1 March Egmont Palace until the Closing Ceremony in the afternoon of 1 March to be held at the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR).
Through plenary sessions, roundtables, workshops and cultural events, the 1,500 abolition actors expected to attend will have a unique opportunity to come together and assess any progress and difficulties on the road to universal abolition. NGO activists, lawyers defending prisoners sentenced to death, political leaders, diplomats, parliamentarians, former death row prisoners and families of victims will share their analysis, identify triggers for action and integrate them to increase efficiency.
Guests will include the Honorary President of ECPM, Mr Robert Badinter, of course, but also a number of political figures such as Ms Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice-President of the European Commission, and Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium. UN Special Rapporteurs will also honour us with their presence, as will winners of the Nobel and Sakharov prizes.
The Belgian capital, which is also the capital of Europe, will be an excellent host for this 7th Congress. It is home to numerous political representatives, has a central and attractive location, and therefore provides an opportunity for high-level advocacy. Brussels has everything required to position itself as the spearhead of the abolitionist movement.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Vice-President of the European Commission
Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium
Africa: the next abolitionist continent?
In April 2018, prior to the World Congress, the African Congress Against the Death Penalty was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. This year attention will therefore focus on Africa in particular in order to provide as much support as possible to help that continent’s countries achieve abolition.
Of the 55 Member States of the African Union, 20 are abolitionist, 1 is abolitionist for ordinary crimes, 22 have a moratorium in place and 12 are retentionist. Things have been moving in a very positive direction over the last few years, to such an extent that Africa is seen as the next abolitionist continent.
Initiated and organised by ECPM since 2001, every three years the World Congresses Against the Death Penalty are a key moment in the world abolitionist campaign. They are bringing together more and more abolitionists from across the world. Come and join us!