UN Human Rights Council 46 UK statement for biennial high level panel on death penalty

The UK believes that the use of the death penalty undermines human dignity; any miscarriage of justice leading to its imposition is irreversible and irreparable, and there is no conclusive evidence of it working as a deterrent to crime.

We oppose the death penalty in all circumstances as a matter of principle. We strongly support the UN General Assembly Resolution for the moratorium on the use of the death penalty and advocate for the reduced use of the death penalty overseas.

We encourage continuous advancement towards global abolition of the death penalty. So, we welcomed Kazakhstan’s steps towards abolishing the death penalty for all crimes in January 2021. In the US, while we are pleased that an increasing number of states have abolished the death penalty and hope others follow suit, we were disappointed by the number of federal executions in recent months under the previous Administration and encourage the new Administration to abolish the federal death penalty.

The continued use of the death penalty globally, especially against targeted and vulnerable groups, remains a concern. We advocate the right to non-discrimination and equality for the marginalised, which include members of religious minorities, of the LGBTI community, and those suffering with mental illness, and call for an end of the death penalty against juvenile and vulnerable offenders.

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