Selected Reports to the Human Rights Council

Year Document number Title and additional information
2019 A/HRC/42/28 Capital punishment and the implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty
Yearly supplement of the Secretary-General to his quinquennial report on capital punishment

Summary: The present report is submitted pursuant to resolution 36/17 of the Human Rights Council. The report examines the consequences arising at various stages of the imposition and application of the death penalty on the enjoyment of the human rights of persons facing the death penalty and other affected persons. It pays specific attention to the impact of the resumption of the use of the death penalty on human rights.
2019 A/HRC/42/25
High-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty
Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Summary: The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolutions 26/2 and 36/17. It provides a summary of the high-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty held on 26 February 2019 at the fortieth session of the Council. The panel discussion addressed human rights violations related to the use of the death penalty, in particular with respect to the rights to non-discrimination and equality.
2018 A/HRC/39/19
Question of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: Pursuant to Human Rights Council decision 18/117, the present report is submitted to update previous reports on the question of the death penalty. In his report the Secretary-General confirms that the trend towards the universal abolition of the death penalty is continuing. During the reporting period, initiatives limiting the use of the death penalty and implementing the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty were also recorded in several States. A minority of States continued to use the death penalty, in contravention of international human rights law. As requested by the Council in its resolution 22/11, the report also includes information on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed.
2017 A/HRC/36/27
High-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Summary: The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 30/5. It provides a summary of the high-level discussion on the question of the death penalty held on 1 March 2017 at the thirty-fourth session of the Council. The objective of the panel discussion was to continue the exchange of views on the question of the death penalty and to address violations related to the use of the death penalty, in particular with respect to the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
2017 A/HRC/36/26
Capital punishment and the implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty
Yearly supplement of the Secretary-General to his quinquennial report on capital punishment

Summary: The present report is submitted pursuant to resolution 30/5 of the Human Rights Council. The report examines the consequences arising at various stages of the imposition and application of the death penalty on the enjoyment of the human rights of those facing the death penalty. It pays specific attention to the right to equality and non-discrimination in the context of the use of the death penalty. The report also highlights the discriminatory application of the death penalty to foreign nationals.
2016 A/HRC/33/20
Question of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: Pursuant to Human Rights Council decision 18/117, the present report is submitted to update previous reports on the question of the death penalty. The present report confirms that the trend towards the universal abolition of the death penalty is continuing. During the reporting period, initiatives restricting the use of the death penalty were also recorded in several de facto abolitionist States, as well as in States that continue to apply the death penalty. Numerous initiatives have also been taken by States to implement the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty. However, a minority of States continued to use the death penalty in contravention of international human rights law. As requested in Human Rights Council resolution 22/11, the present report also includes information on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed.
2015 A/HRC/30/21
High-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Summary: The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 26/2. It provides a summary of the high-level discussion on the question of the death penalty held on 4 March 2015 at the twenty-fifth session of the Council. The objective of the panel discussion was to continue the exchange of views on the question of the death penalty and to discuss regional efforts aiming at the abolition of the death penalty and related challenges.
2015 A/HRC/30/18
Capital punishment and the implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty
Yearly supplement of the Secretary-General to his quinquennial report on capital punishment

Summary: The present report is submitted pursuant to resolution 26/2 of the Human Rights Council. It examines possible consequences of the imposition and application of the death penalty on the enjoyment of various human rights, including human dignity, the right to life, the right not to be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the right to a fair trial and the right to equality and non-discrimination. It also examines the impact on the enjoyment of human rights by children of parents who are sentenced to death or executed, and other individuals associated with sentenced persons, and the consequences of the lack of transparency in the imposition and application of the death penalty.
2014 A/HRC/27/26
Summary of the high-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Summary: The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council decision 22/117. It provides a summary of the high-level discussion on the question of the death penalty held on 5 March 2014 at the twenty-fifth session of the Council. The aim of the panel discussion was (a) the exchange of views on advances, best practices and challenges relating to the abolition of the death penalty and to the introduction of a moratorium on executions and (b) the exchange of views relating to national debates on or processes for the abolition of the death penalty.
2014 A/HRC/27/23
Question of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: Pursuant to Human Rights Council decision 18/117, the present report is submitted in order to update previous reports on the question of the death penalty. The report confirms that the trend towards the universal abolition of the death penalty is continuing. However, numerous concerns remain with regard to the lack of respect for international human rights norms and standards in States that still impose the death penalty. As requested in Human Rights Council resolution 22/11, the report also includes information on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed
2014 A/HRC/25/33
Summary of the panel discussion on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed
Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Summary: The present report is submitted pursuant to resolution 22/11 of the Human Rights Council. It provides a summary of the panel discussion on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty of executed, held on 11 September 2013, at the twenty-fourth session of the Human Rights Council.
2013 A/HRC/24/18
Question of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The present report contains information on the question of the death penalty, and reports that the international community as a whole is moving towards the abolition of the death penalty in law or in practice. Nevertheless, a small number of States have continued to use the death penalty and in many instances, international standards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty were not fully respected. The report also discusses the continued difficulties in gaining access to reliable information regarding executions, and issues related to the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed.
2012 A/HRC/21/29
A/HRC/21/29/Corr.1
Question of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The present report contains information mostly covering the period from July 2011 to June 2012. Although the international community as a whole is moving towards abolition of the death penalty in law or in practice, some Member States have continued to use the death penalty during the reporting period. In some instances, international standards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty were not fully respected. In this regard, the report draws attention to a number of phenomena, including the ongoing difficulties in gaining access to reliable information regarding executions, the continued use of the death penalty in violation of international safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, in particular the use of the death penalty for crimes, such as drug offences, which could not be considered as “most serious crimes”, and its use against children under 18 at the time of the alleged offence and members of vulnerable groups, in particular individuals belonging to racial, religious, national, ethnic and sexual minorities. Attention is drawn to the forthcoming report of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly on moratorium on the use of the death penalty, which will highlight, inter alia, national and international efforts made towards the universal abolition of the death penalty.
2011 A/HRC/18/20
Question of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The present report contains information covering the period from July 2010 to June 2011, and draws attention to a number of phenomena, including the continuing trend towards abolition, the ongoing difficulties in gaining access to reliable information on executions, and various international efforts towards the universal abolition of the death penalty.
2010 A/HRC/15/19
Question of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The present report contains information on the question of the death penalty covering the period from June 2009 to July 2010, and draws attention to a number of phenomena, including the continuing trend towards abolition and the ongoing difficulties experienced in gaining access to reliable information on executions.
2009 A/HRC/12/45
Question of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The Secretary-General submitted annual reports to the former Commission on Human Rights on the question of the death penalty, the most recent being pursuant to Commission resolution 2005/59. Pursuant to Human Rights Council decision 2/102, the Secretary-General submits this report on the question of the death penalty to update his previous reports, in particular his quinquennial reports to the Economic and Social Council. The present report contains information covering the period from June 2008 to July 2009, and draws attention to a number of phenomena, including the continuing trend towards abolition, the practice of engaging in a national debate on the death penalty, and the ongoing difficulties in gaining access to reliable information on executions.
2008 A/HRC/8/11
Question of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The Secretary-General submitted annual reports to the Commission on Human Rights on the question of the death penalty, the most recent being pursuant to Commission resolution 2005/59. Pursuant to Human Rights Council decision 2/102, the Secretary-General submits this report on the question of the death penalty to update his previous reports. The present report contains information covering the period from January 2006 to May 2008. The report indicates that the trend towards abolition of the death penalty continues; this is illustrated, inter alia, by the increase in the number of countries that are completely abolitionist and by the increase in ratifications of international instruments that provide for the abolition of this form of punishment.
2008 A/HRC/7/72
Report of the Secretary-General on the question of the death penalty
Note by the Secretariat

Summary: In its decision 2/102 of 6 October 2006, the Human Rights Council requested the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue with the fulfilment of their activities, in accordance with all previous decisions adopted by the Commission on Human Rights, and to update the relevant reports and studies. Accordingly, the report of the Secretary-General on the question of the death penalty (A/HRC/4/78) was submitted to the Council at its fourth session. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights will submit the most up-to-date report on the question of the death penalty to the Council at its eighth session in June 2008.
2007 A/HRC/4/78
Question of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: In its decision 2/102, the Human Rights Council requested the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue with the fulfilment of their activities, in accordance with all previous decisions adopted by the Commission on Human Rights and to update relevant reports and studies. In its last resolution on the death penalty (2005/59), the Commission on Human Rights had requested the Secretary-General to submit a yearly supplement to his quinquennial report on capital punishment. The present report contains information covering developments during 2006. The report indicates that the trend towards abolition of the death penalty continues. This is illustrated, inter alia, by the increase in the number of countries that have abolished the death penalty and by the increase in ratifications of international instruments that provide for the abolition of this form of punishment.

Recent Reports to the General Assembly

Year Document number Title and additional information
2018 A/73/260
Moratorium on the use of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The present report provides information on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 71/187. It discusses developments towards the abolition of the death penalty and the establishment of moratoriums on executions. The report highlights trends in the use of the death penalty, including the application of international standards relating to the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, including foreign nationals and migrants. It also discusses gender-based discrimination against women in the application of the death penalty, the disproportionate impact of its use on poor or economically vulnerable individuals, and regional and international initiatives for advancing the abolition of the death penalty.
2016 A/71/332
Moratorium on the use of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The present report is submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to its resolution 69/186. It discusses developments towards the abolition of the death penalty and the establishment of moratoriums on executions. The report also reflects on trends in the use of the death penalty, including the application of international standards relating to the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty. It also discusses the role of national human rights institutions and private companies, as well as regional and international initiatives for advancing the abolition of the death penalty.
2014 A/69/288
Moratorium on the use of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The present report is submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to its resolution 67/176. It discusses trends toward s the abolition of the death penalty and the establishment of moratoriums on executions. The report also reflects on the application of international standards relating to the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty and discusses various international and regional initiatives for the implementation of resolution 67/176.
2012 A/67/220
Moratorium on the use of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The present report is submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to its resolution 65/206. It discusses the trend towards abolition of the death penalty and the establishment of a moratorium on execution. The report also reflects on the application of international standards relating to the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty. It further discusses the importance of making available relevant information with regard to the use of the death penalty, which can contribute to transparent national debates and international and regional initiatives for the promotion of the universal abolition of the death penalty.
2010 A/65/280
Moratorium on the use of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The present report is submitted to the General Assembly pursuant to General Assembly resolution 63/168. The report confirms the global trend towards abolition of the death penalty. It also recommends that Member States introduce a moratorium on the death penalty. Those States which still intend to implement the death penalty and are not willing to establish a moratorium should apply the death penalty only in the case of the most serious crimes. The protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty should be ensured, pursuant to the relevant international laws. Furthermore, in that regard, States have an obligation not to practise the death penalty in secrecy, nor to practice discrimination in its application.
2008 A/63/293
A/63/293/Corr.1
Moratorium on the use of the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

Summary: The present report surveys respect for the rights of those sentenced to death as set out in the international human rights treaties and the guidelines established by the Economic and Social Council in 1984. Drawing on contributions of Member States, the report surveys various motivations for establishing a moratorium on or abolishing the death penalty, as well as those for retaining the death penalty. It also includes up to-date statistical information on the worldwide use of the death penalty, including moratoriums established in States that have not abolished this form of punishment, together with relevant developments since the sixty-second session of the General Assembly. The report concludes by confirming the global trend towards abolition of the death penalty, the important role played by moratoriums in those States that seek to abolish it and possibilities for further work on the issue.

Recent Reports to the Economic and Social Council

The Economic and Social Council, by its resolution 1745 (LIV) of 16 May 1973 [please insert hyperlink], invited the Secretary-General to submit to it, at five-year intervals starting from 1975, periodic updated and analytical reports on capital punishment. The Council, by its resolution 1995/57 of 28 July 1995 [please insert hyperlink], recommended that the quinquennial reports of the Secretary-General should continue to cover also the implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty. By the same resolution, the Council requested the Secretary-General, in preparing the quinquennial report, to draw on all available data, including current criminological research.

Year Document number Title and additional information
2015 E/2015/49
E/2015/49/Corr.1
Capital punishment and implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

The present ninth quinquennial report reviews the use of and trends in capital punishment, including the implementation of the safeguards during the period 2009-2013.
2010 E/2010/10
E/2010/10/Corr.1
E/2010/10/Corr.2
Capital punishment and implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

The present eighth quinquennial report reviews the use of and trends in capital punishment, including the implementation of the safeguards during the period 2004-2008.
2005 E/2005/3
E/2005/3/Corr.1
E/2005/3/Add.1
Capital punishment and implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

The present seventh quinquennial report reviews the use of and trends in capital punishment, including the implementation of the safeguards during the period 1999-2003.
2001 E/CN.15/2001/10
Capital punishment and implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

The report contains a review of the trends in the application of the death penalty, including the implementation of the safeguards, during the period 1994-2000. It is a revised, updated version of the report of the Secretary-General on the subject (E/2000/3).
2000 E/2000/3
E/2000/3/Corr.1
Capital punishment and implementation of the safeguards guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty
Report of the Secretary-General

The present, sixth quinquennial report reviews the use of and trends in capital punishment, including the implementation of the safeguards, during the period 1994-1998.