World Day Against the Death Penalty - October 10
(Last Updated On: November 9, 2022)


Every year on October 10th, World Day Against the Death Penalty advocates for the abolition of capital punishment. It’s also a day to raise awareness about the conditions and the circumstances that affect prisoners on death row.

Proponents of the death penalty say that capital punishment helps to deter crime and establish law and order. They also say that the death penalty is less expensive than a life sentence. Opponents, however, believe that the death penalty is inhumane and that it does not deter crime. Some also believe the death penalty disproportionately affects certain groups. For example, in the U.S., up to 10 percent of inmates on death row have severe mental health issues. In addition, up to 40 percent of prisoners facing the death penalty are black. One more reason people oppose the death penalty is that innocent people are sometimes executed.

Over 70 percent of the countries in the world have abolished the death penalty. Here are some countries where the death penalty is still enforced:

  • China
  • Iran
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Iraq
  • Egypt
  • Pakistan
  • Somalia
  • South Sudan

Of these countries, China has the highest number of executions each year, and this communist country hides its data, too. However, Amnesty International believes that China executes thousands of prisoners each year. In the United States, 27 states authorize capital punishment. As of 2019, there were 2,570 people in the U.S. who were on death row. Throughout the world, there are about 33,000 prisoners facing the death penalty.

HOW TO OBSERVE #WorldDayAgainstTheDeathPenalty

Many human rights activists and organizations fighting to abolish the death penalty hold events on this day. Some of these events include public demonstrations and peaceful protests, webinars, remote workshops, film screenings, and interviews. To participate:

  • If you’re against the death penalty, share your views with others.
  • Donate to an organization that is working to end the death penalty.
  • Organize a demonstration in your community.
  • Watch a movie that deals with capital punishment, such as “Dead Man Walking,” “The Life of David Gale,” “True Crime,” or “The Green Mile.”

Spread awareness for this day on social media with #WorldAgainstTheDeathPenaltyDay


The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP) organized the first World Day Against the Death Penalty in 2003. The WCADP was formed in 2002. The organization comprises more than 160 NGOs, bar associations, local authorities, and unions. Their goal is to abolish the death penalty in every country in the world.


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