New government committee takes action to end death penalty

Together, we called on the Australian Government to take a stronger stance against the death penalty. Last week, Amnesty met with Julie Bishop and let her know that thousands of our supporters want to see an end to the injustice of capital punishment.

Now Parliament has announced an Inquiry to establish Australia as a global leader to advocate for a world free of the death penalty.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop with AIA's National Director Claire Mallinson.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop with AIA’s National Director Claire Mallinson. © Amnesty International

The Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade has announced they will review how Australia engages internationally to promote abolition of the death penalty. The Committee will also consider what further steps Australia can take to advocate for worldwide abolition, including through diplomacy, our aid program and federal law enforcement agencies.

This positive step follows tireless campaigning from Amnesty supporters across Australia, so well done! We look forward to working with the bipartisan Australian Parliamentarians Against the Death Penalty Group – co-chaired by Philip Ruddock MP and Chris Hayes MP – which has been working to strengthen Australia’s policy against the death penalty. Read more about the group’s involvement with the global movement for the abolition of the death penalty.

Why does this matter?

There are at least 20,000 people on death row around the world, and they’re counting on our help. It’s simply not enough to react to injustice only when it affects Australians. We need to be proactive for all people.

There’s great hope for our cause. In 1977 only 16 countries had stopped executing. Today there are 140. Unfortunately though there are still many countries that are yet to come on board including the USA, Singapore, Malaysia and of course Indonesia. We must keep up the fight.

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New government committee takes action to end death penalty