Declaration of the Committee of Ministers on the death penalty
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 2 May 2012
at the 1141st meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers re-affirms its unequivocal opposition to the death penalty in all places and in all circumstances. We are convinced that its abolition contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and progressive development of human rights, of which the Council of Europe is the guarantor in Europe.
The Committee of Ministers recalls the Council of Europe’s pioneering work to promote the abolition of capital punishment through the adoption of Protocols No. 6 and No. 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights and the designation of 10 October as “European Day against the Death Penalty”.
The creation of a death penalty-free area in Europe and beyond is an objective shared by the 47 member States. The Committee of Ministers welcomes the fact that no executions have been carried out on the territory of its member States for the last fifteen years. At a global level, it also welcomes the fact that the number of countries resorting to capital punishment continued to decrease in 2011.
The Committee of Ministers calls on all countries which still apply the death penalty, including those holding observer status with the Council of Europe, to immediately apply a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition. The Committee of Ministers reaffirms its commitment to continue its efforts to promote abolition in Europe and throughout the world.