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  • Human Rights Research Center

United Nations Calls for Worldwide Abolishment of Death Penalty

March 1, 2023

Volker Türk [Image credit: UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré]

Cited articles by UN News and OHCHR

HRRC supports the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in calling for the end of the death penalty in all countries. The practice is often used improperly in drug-related offenses, blasphemy, same-sex relations, and numerous other alleged crimes. The death penalty also takes away human dignity and removes humanity in carrying out the action.

Article Summary

During the United Nations 52nd regular session, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, called on all nations to end the death penalty. Currently, 79 countries continue the practice including the United States. In his statement, Türk asserted that the death penalty is a violation of human dignity and cannot coexist in a society that aims to promote human rights. Further, Türk stated the use or threat of the death penalty can instill fear, repress opposition, and infringe on basic freedoms.

According to experts in criminal justice, the death penalty is ineffective and the best course of action is to work to control and prevent crimes. Experts recommend nations "build functioning, human rights-based criminal justice systems that ensure accountability for perpetrators and afford victims and survivors access to justice, redress, and dignity." However, many opponents of suspending the death penalty argue that retribution is the best response, that taking a life in exchange for a life lost is justice.


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