|DPF Board Member Speedy Rice and Elizabeth Zitrin (IOCP Coordinator), along with our World Coalition allies, at a meeting at the United Nations. |
Death Penalty Focus has been working to end the death penalty worldwide for a number of years. We have sent speakers to conferences and events in Canada, Germany, Italy, Ireland, and France and we currently hold a seat on the steering committee of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. The World Coalition works to strengthen the international movement against capital punishment. The coalition, which is made up of over 100 bar associations, human rights organizations, unions, regional associations and governments, works to eliminate the use of the death penalty in retentionist countries by facilitating the development of national and regional coalitions, educational activities, lobbying international organizations and States, and organizing campaigns and events which have an international impact.
In 2007, the World Coalition was instrumental in getting the United Nations General Assembly to pass a resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty. 104 countries voted in favor of the resolution, 54 voted against it and 29 countries abstained.
In 2009, DPF formed the International Outreach and Communications Project (IOCP). The IOCP facilitates cooperation among anti-death penalty advocates to ensure that our European and other international partners have a clear understanding of what interventions will be the most effective and timely for US activists. IOCP works to identify and marshal international voices, including high profile opinion leaders, in support of US activism, while encouraging and informing diplomatic conversations between the US and EU.
IOCP Coordinator Elizabeth Zitrin chairs two Working Groups on the Steering Committee of the World Coalition: the Working Groups on the USA and on Business and Human Rights. She also serves on the 4th World Congress Working Group, developing the program for the February 2010 international meeting in Geneva.
In addition, IOCP endeavors to strengthen international public education efforts by reaching out to key communities such as crime victims and their families, law enforcement, and the business community, to increase their participation in our issue. IOCP's Business and Human Rights program is developing strategies to encourage European corporations to emphasize their commitment to corporate social responsibility and the upholding of European Human Rights standards, specifically promoting the abolition of the death penalty incorporated in those standards, within the context of their business relationships in the United States.
Meet Elizabeth Zitrin
Elizabeth Zitrin represents DPF on the Steering Committee of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP), where she chairs Working Groups on the USA and on Corporate Responsibility. Elizabeth practiced criminal defense law in San Francisco and continues to be actively involved with capital cases. She serves on the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Northern California and is a past Chair of the Advisory Board of the Northern California Innocence Project. She is also the California Death Penalty Coordinator for Amnesty International USA. She holds a B.A. from Oberlin College and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.