Since 2000, ECPM has been supporting the creation of national and regional coalitions, conducting educational activities with young people, carrying out fact-finding missions on death row and building the capacity of local actors. Every three years, the association organises the World Congress Against the Death Penalty, the world’s largest abolitionist event.
Mission and values
We believe in a world that is conscious of the uselessness of capital punishment in the penal system and of the barbarity that it breeds and maintains in society. We believe in a world that will renounce a radical and erroneous vision of the very principle of justice and that, from citizens to politicians, judges, prosecutors and religious leaders, will say “No to the death penalty”.
Our mission is to bring together, unite and strengthen the full range of actors (civil society involved in the field of human rights, parliamentarians, politicians, legal professionals, etc.) and to work for political change with a view to achieving abolition of the death penalty locally and globally. Finally, we consider that, in both retentionist and abolitionist countries, the mission of raising awareness and teaching the general public about abolition, as widely as possible, must be at the heart of our work. ECPM has the following values:
TOGETHER: As its name suggests, ECPM considers it essential that all of its actions are implemented with and by the local actors directly concerned, in the name and service of the collective interest.
HUMAN: Human life has universal value and respect for its dignity transcends all cultural and religious differences.
JUSTICE: The first human right is the right to live in dignity and implies the equality of all people before the law. Universal abolition implies the recognition of universal justice.
COMMITMENT: ECPM believes that the transformation of all societies towards greater respect for human dignity is possible. The association is committed to acting with complete neutrality and independence from States, social and political groups and moral authorities.
AUDACITY: At the heart of its action, ECPM emphasises the collective capacity to innovate, to take risks, and to maintain responsiveness and dynamism, with complete freedom, in the struggle against the death penalty.
- 2000: Creation of the association following the publication of the book An Open Letter to Americans for the Abolition of the Death Penalty and the launch of a petition gathering 500,000 signatures
- 2001: Robert Badinter, former French Minister of Justice, becomes Honorary President of the association and gives the opening speech at the first World Congress at the European Parliament in Strasbourg
- 2002: ECPM co-founds the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty World Coalition Against the Death Penalty
- 2005: ECPM receives the Human Rights Prize awarded by the French Republic for the report of its fact-finding mission in Democratic Republic of Congo. The same year, ECPM joins the Paris Pride March for the first time
- 2006: ECPM supports Mumia Abu-Jamal, an African-American journalist sentenced to death in 1982, alongside the Free Mumia Coalition
- 2010: Launch of the Teaching Abolition Project for secondary school and sixth-form students
- 2011: Publication of the first Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran with Iran Human Rights
- 2016: ECPM obtains consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), giving it the possibility to act within UN institutions in Geneva (Human Rights Council), New York (UN headquarters and Security Council) and Vienna (UNODC-UN Office on Drugs and Crime)
- 2017: ECPM obtains observer status at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)
- 2018: ECPM obtains observer status at the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF)
- 2021: ECPM celebrates 40 years of abolition in France with Robert Badinter, ECPM Honorary President
20 years of abolition history/histories
To mark its 20th anniversary, ECPM published a booklet retracing its struggle through its founding values and unifying moments. With archive images and testimonies, this booklet allows the reader to relive the fight for abolition of the death penalty, from its early activism to its international reach.