United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture: Theme, History and significance

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The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is observed every year on June 26. The day was first observed by United Nations General Assembly in 1997 to raise awareness about the suffering of people who undergo torture. Torture is a vile act of punishing someone and making them suffer. According to Human Rights Court, torture is a ‘deliberate inhuman treatment causing very serious and cruel suffering’. UN strictly condemned such acts and consider them as a crime against humanity. The main motto of this day is to prevent all citizens from torture.

Several organizations like the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and Amnesty International play a significant role in promoting the purpose of the day through various activities. These include photo exhibitions, distribution of posters, and other material to make people aware of the issues related to human torture.

United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture: History and significance

On June 26, 1987, the convention against torture and other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment came into effect as a step towards acknowledging the fact that torture is universally illegal. Ten years later on June 26, 1997, UN General Assembly, announced the day officially as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture to support the victims and survivors of torture and raise awareness about its effect. The main aim of this day is to totally eradicate torture. The first international day in support of victims of torture was celebrated on June 26, 1998, where the UN appealed to all governments, stakeholders, and members of global society to take action against torture and torturers everywhere.

Ever since the day has been observed, it mobilized support for the people who have suffered from torture, all around the world. At present, 162 countries ratify the UN convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

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