ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty) has been using a wide range of tools and skills since 2000 to move further down the path towards universal abolition. ECPM’s team is on a human scale and is qualified in both lobbying at the highest level and strengthening capacities across borders.
Alone we can do little; together, we can do it all. Since its creation, ECPM has kept at its heart the idea of bringing together all those involved in abolition across the world.
Concretely: ECPM has organised the World Congress Against the Death Penalty every 3 years since 2001 to unite players and encourage the emergence of new strategies in support of abolition.
Following the Strasbourg Congress in 2001, the second Congress was held in Montreal in 2004 and was attended by Bianca Jagger and Catherine Deneuve.
In 2007 the third Congress was held in Paris under the patronage of Jacques Chirac and Angela Merkel. It was host to more than 1,000 participants and 150 speakers, and was marked by an official declaration from the European Union, messages from Pope Benedict XVI and the Dalai Lama, and unprecedented contributions from Chinese abolitionists.
The fourth World Congress, held in Geneva in 2010, was an unprecedented political and civil success with 1,500 participants and an opening session organised by the United Nations attended by José Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero, Abdou Diouf and a number of very senior political representatives.
Finally, the fifth World Congress was marked by unprecedented political participation with the exceptional attendance of 12 Ministers of State from abolitionist and retentionist countries.
Since 2012, ECPM has also organised Regional Congresses. The first was held in Rabat to bring lobbying at the highest level to an area of the world where abolition of the death penalty remains a major public policy issue. It was the biggest death penalty event ever organised in the Arab world. The Congress brought together nearly 500 people and was marked by the presence of a number of senior political figures.
In June 2015 ECPM organised its second death penalty Regional Congress, and the first in Asia, in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in order to encourage concrete progress in Asia which is the world’s leading retentionist zone but which, until then, had never hosted an international event on the death penalty. Organised in partnership with the regional network ADPAN, the Congress brought together more than 300 lawyers, magistrates, MPs, sociologists, theologians, journalists, NGO members and activists.
Finally, in 2012 ECPM organised its first big event in central Africa via the inter-regional conference in Kinshasa which brought together nearly 200 people from a dozen countries in the region. At the opening session, the Minister of Justice from the DRC officially recognised the existence of a moratorium on executions, opening the way to abolition in law.
This conference was the opportunity to launch the Central African Coalition Against the Death Penalty under the coordination of the Congolese NGO Culture pour la paix et justice (CPJ).
Across the four corners of the world people are mobilising against the death penalty. At their request, ECPM has acted to strengthen the ability of some of them to take action and provide them with its expertise and resources.
Concretely: In 2001, ECPM launched its first capacity strengthening project in Morocco in partnership with L’organisation marocaine des droits humains (OMDH) and la Coalition marocaine contre la peine de mort (CMCPM). Very quickly, Morocco became the ideal platform for an in-depth debate on the death penalty in the region.
After the Arab Spring, ECPM widened its field of action to countries in North Africa and the Middle East within the framework of a regional project supported by Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency).
Our NGO has enabled the Moroccan Coalition Against the Death Penalty to professionalise its work by hiring three employees. We are also encouraging the emergence and structuring of the Asian network ADPAN which represents 18 countries in Asia, particularly by supporting the organisation of their General Assembly.
People must be convinced if the death penalty is to be brought to an end. ECPM is in communication with MPs and heads of state within national and international institutions.
Concretely: ECPM has a presence at the United Nations where we hold Observer status. Our NGO is advancing the debate towards abolition in a number of national parliaments: Morocco, Tunisia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville, Burkina Faso, etc. ECPM assisted with the creation of the Network of MPs Against the Death Penalty in Morocco (more than 250 members), a unique initiative globally in a country which still includes capital punishment in its legislative arsenal. We provide support to the NGO Iran Human Rights with regard to publication of the annual report on the death penalty in Iran, its circulation and its presentation within major decision-making bodies (the European Parliament, French or UK Parliament) and we carry out criminal investigations into death row (in the Great Lakes region of Africa, the USA, Morocco, Tunisia, etc.)
Finally, ECPM has organised campaigns in support of Hank Skinner and Serge Atlaoui.
Abolition of the death penalty can never be taken for granted. ECPM therefore regularly speaks at public events and schools to raise awareness among the citizens of today and the future.
Concretely: Along with our partners from the International Network for Education About Abolition, we visit schools in France, Tunisia, Morocco and Lebanon, and create teaching tools (lesson modules, class projects, board games) enabling teachers to raise the issue in class independently. Since 2005, ECPM has attended the LGBT Paris Pride Marches within the framework of its campaign “The Death Penalty is Homophobic” and the Fête de l’Humanité to be one step ahead of the public and talk to them about abolition and human rights. Every year ECPM organises action to raise awareness across the world on the World Day Against the Death Penalty, targeting a variety of audiences (young people, MPs, lawyers, journalists, etc.).