Launched in 2003 and held every year on October 10, World Day Against the Death Penalty strengthens the international fight against the death penalty with the goal of abolishing capital punishment worldwide. A specific theme is highlighted each year in order to draw attention to this grave human rights abuse.
The Advocates for Human Rights' Rosalyn Park chairs the World Day Against the Death Penaltyworking group for the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, headquartered in Paris, France. She is also a member of the Coalition's steering committee.
2014 World Day Against the Death Penalty
The 2014 World Day Against the Death Penalty will draw attention to people with mental health problems who are at risk of being executed or receiving a death sentence. At the same time as working in opposition to the death penalty, abolitionists are also committed to see existing international human rights standards implemented. Among these is the requirement that people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities should not face the death penalty.
The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty maintains that prisons have become the mental institutions of the 21st century. This reflects, at least in part, the failure of societies to provide adequate care and support to people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, according to the Coalition . It is important to stress that people with mental disorders do not, in general, pose a higher risk of violence than the general population although there is considerable evidence that they are at greater than average risk of becoming victims of violence. However, there are numerous examples in which people who did not receive the mental health care they needed went on to commit acts of violence.
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