UK Death Penalty Strategy

The UK Government is opposed to the use of the death penalty under any circumstances as a matter of principle. It undermines human dignity, there is no evidence that it works as a deterrent and any miscarriage of justice in capital cases is irreversible and irreparable. This is a position Britain makes clear to all states that still use capital punishment.

The UK uses targeted diplomacy and financial support for international non-governmental organisations, Parliamentarians and human rights lawyers in our efforts to persuade other governments to abolish the Death Penalty. In 2014, 22 countries executed people; while 140 countries were abolitionist in law or practice. I welcome the Government's efforts to see the long term trend towards abolition continue throughout this Parliament.

The UK works with law enforcement bodies across the world in a number of areas, including combatting the drugs trade. This work is governed by a robust framework which has respect for human rights as one of its fundamental principles. It also requires all overseas engagement to be kept under constant review.

A full list of countries of concern was published in March 2015 in the Foreign Office's Annual Human Rights Report. That list includes Saudi Arabia, highlighting its use of the death penalty.