The death penalty and children

A busy summer and were back into things for the autumn.  Of course, a very special autumn it is, because in November we'll be celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child!  Hurrah!

It is because of this anniversary that the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP) is focusing on teaching aboliton to young people, particularly children aged 14-18, to mark the World Day Against the Death Penalty 10 October 2009. 

There are a number of materials available on their website for teachers and activists: http://www.worldcoalition.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=276

AIUK has obviously campaigned long and hard on the death penalty, and if you haven't already done so I would encourage you to go to the website and do what you can for current featured cases, Troy Davis and Hakamada: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=78

However, as this is the children's rights blog, we do well to remember that in many countries that still put people to death, children or minors are not exempt.  Many urgent cases that are received at AI from Saudi Arabia and Iran feature young men who are believed to have been under 18 at the time their crime was committed.

Things are seemingly worse for young women (or at least more widely reported) – you may have heard of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow, who was stoned to death after reporting that she had been raped by three men.

Read a BBC article about it here and listen to Kate Allen, the director of AIUK, speak about the atrocity: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/7708169.stm

More recently, children's rights campaigners received the sad news that Delara Darabi was executed in Iran at the beginning of this summer.  She was persuaded by her boyfriend to confess to a murder he himself committed, to save him from execution, claiming that he had told her that as she was 17 she could not be executed. She subsequently retracted her confession, but was put to death regardless.

Iran has executed at least 42 juvenile offenders since 1990, and continues to hold minors on death row.  Things are no better if you look at the 'execution map' from the rest of 2008: http://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=10198…

On October 10, do what you can to highlight the prevalence of the death penalty to those around you, and remind people that in many places, even children aren't safe.

Thanks :)

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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