World Day Against the Death Penalty, 10 October

Published 10 October 2018 in:

Sweden’s Ambassador for human rights, democracy and the rule of law Annika Ben David.. Photo: Catarina Axelsson

On 10 October, World Day Against the Death Penalty will be observed. Sweden condemns the use of the death penalty in all its forms and is working with the EU towards its abolition.

“The death penalty is an inhuman, cruel and irreversible punishment that, in addition to having no place in a modern legal system, has not been shown to have a deterrent effect on crime. Sweden’s principled opposition to the death penalty is clear. In all contexts, Sweden condemns the use of the death penalty in all its forms,” says Sweden’s Ambassador for human rights, democracy and the rule of law Annika Ben David.

Moreover, the entire EU prohibits the death penalty in its Charter of Fundamental Rights. Abolition of the death penalty is a requirement for countries wishing to join the EU, a requirement championed by Swedish Member of the European Parliament Hadar Cars.

“Respect for life is central to human rights. The death penalty means that the State justifies killing, thus failing in its role to serve as a model for its citizens,” stressed Hadar Cars when fighting for the EU to take a clear position against the death penalty.

Sweden and the EU are working towards the global abolition of the death penalty through resolutions in the General Assembly of the United Nations and in dialogues with states that still use it. The EU not only prohibits the death penalty and torture, it also promotes their abolition throughout the world.

Whenever the Government meets representatives from countries that use the death penalty, Swedish representatives consistently raise this issue. Sweden’s democracy assistance also includes specially allocated funds to contribute to projects, information campaigns, education for lawyers, statistics, analyses, etc. that aim to abolish the death penalty.

Sweden has long worked at international level for the global abolition of the death penalty. It is a priority in Sweden’s foreign policy. In the UN General Assembly, Sweden gives its active support to resolutions calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.