Capital punishment | 10.10.2019

October 10, 2019 : 17th World Day Against the Death Penalty

Children: Unseen Victims of the Death Penalty

As every year, on October 10, UIA joins the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and abolitionist organizations worldwide to commemorate the World Day Against the Death Penalty.
This year, the 17th World Day aims at raising awareness of the devastating impact that capital punishment also has on a broad segment of individuals who concretely face its brutality and injustice but whose suffering still remains practically invisible.

Not only relatives and friends of the convicted prisoners but also prison guards, jurors, defense lawyers, prosecutors, etc., may be brutalized, whether consciously or not, by the use of the death penalty and the system surrounding this practice. 

First and foremost, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the World Coalition dedicates this 17th World Day to highlight the situation of children who have a parent sentenced to death or who has been executed.

Unseen victims of the death penalty, these children can be differently affected, depending on such factors as age, personality, socio-economic status, as well as on circumstances, such as the wider public response to their situation, including the scrutiny of media coverage and stigmatization from the community. However, the trauma and emotional distress experienced by children when their parents are sentenced to death or executed is noted in all countries, can occur at any moment in their life, and will probably dominate a child’s life for years to come.

By focusing on their rights, the 17th World Day against the Death Penalty aims to give a voice to the children of people sentenced to death/executed and to recognize their status as victims - forgotten and silent.

All children should legitimately enjoy the rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child regardless of their status or the status of their parents (regardless of their status of victims or perpetrators of the punished crimes). And the best interests of the child should be a paramount consideration in decisions about the welfare of a child – including the death sentence of a parent.

UIA encourages you to learn more about the protection of the rights of children of parents sentenced to death or executed (see i.e. here and here).

Helps us to make their voices heard!

Once again, UIA reaffirms its unreserved opposition to the use of capital punishment under all circumstances.

For further information about the 17th World Day Against the Death Penalty (posters, leaflet, detailed factsheet) and how you can act now, please visit the World Coalition’s Website