International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture  is held annually on 26 June to speak out against the crime of torture and to honor and support victims and survivors throughout the world.
This is a day on which we pay our respects to those who have endured the unimaginable. This is an occasion for the world to speak up against the unspeakable. It is long overdue that a day be dedicated to remembering and supporting the many victims and survivors of torture around the world.

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

The day was selected by the United Nations General Assembly for two reasons. First, on 26 June 1945, the United Nations Charter was signed during the midst of World War II – the first international instrument obliging UN members to respect and promote human rights. Second, 26 June 1987 was when the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect.
The decision to annually observe the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was taken by the UN General Assembly at the proposal of Denmark, which is home to the world-renowned International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT).

The first 26 June events were launched in 1998. Since then, nearly 100 organization in dozens of countries all over the world mark the day each year with events, celebrations and campaigns.
On 16 July 2009, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was chosen as a public holiday in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Every year the IRCT monitors the campaign plans of organizations around the world and towards the end of the year publishes the 26 June Global Report where it describes the events held in commemoration of the day. According to the latest 26 June Global Report (2012), at least 100 organizations in 60 countries around the world commemorated the day with conferences, workshops, peaceful rallies, cultural and musical events, events for children, etc.

On June 26, 1987, the Convention against Torture came into force. It was an important step in the process of globalizing human rights and acknowledging that torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment should be universally illegal. In 1997 the United Nations General Assembly decided to mark this historic date and designated June 26 each year as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The first International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was held on June 26, 1998. It was a day when the United Nations appealed to all governments and members of civil society to take action to defeat torture and torturers everywhere. That same year marked the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

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