The Death Penalty around the World


The death penalty around the world

Today, over two thirds of the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice. Year after year, we can observe a downward trend in the number of death sentences and executions worldwide. Over the past 20 years, more than 50 States have abolished it in law.

To date, 105 States have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, 8 have abolished it for ordinary crimes and 50 have introduced a moratorium on executions, whether by law or de facto, for a total of 163 States. However, the death penalty is still applied in 34 States and territories.

In 2018, 20 States carried out executions, compared to 23 in 2017. The latest report by Amnesty International recorded 690 confirmed executions in 2018, which confirms the significant downward trend observed over the last few years (993 executions were listed in 2017, 1,032 in 2016, and 1,634 in 2015). The number of death sentences recorded in 2018 (2,531) has slightly declined compared to 2017 (2,591). It is important to remember that the real figure of total executions is hard to establish given the lack of official statistics in some countries, including China. Outside of China, 78% of executions listed in 2018 took place in four countries (Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Iraq).

List of countries

Having abolished the death penalty:

Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Colombia, Congo (Republic of), Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, Nicaragua, North Macedonia, Norway, New Zealand, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela

Having abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes:

Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Israel, Kazakhstan, Peru

Having introduced a moratorium on executions (de facto if no execution has been carried out for at least ten years or by law if the moratorium follows a decision of the authorities or a court decision):

Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brunei, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Myanmar, Niger, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Continuing to apply the death penalty:

Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Botswana, Chad, China, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, North Korea, Palestinian Authority, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United States, Viet Nam, Yemen

Updated: October 2019