Every year on June 26th, the United Nations observes the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. This day holds great importance as it commemorates the enforcement of the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in 1987. The convention serves as a vital tool in the global fight against torture, considering it a crime against humanity. This article explores the history of this day, the prohibition of torture under international law, and the objective of eradicating torture worldwide.
History of the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture:
On June 26, 1987, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect, recognizing the universal prohibition of torture. A decade later, on June 26, 1997, the United Nations General Assembly officially designated this date as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The primary purpose of this day is to show support to survivors of torture and raise awareness about the profound impact it has on individuals.
The Prohibition of Torture under International Law:
Torture is an absolute crime under international law and is strictly prohibited under all circumstances. It is considered part of customary international law, making it binding on all countries, regardless of their ratification status of specific anti-torture treaties. The systematic or widespread practice of torture is recognized as a crime against humanity.
Objective of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture:
The main objective of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is to work towards the complete eradication of this inhumane practice in all its forms. On June 26, 1998, the United Nations urged governments, stakeholders, and the global community to take decisive action against perpetrators of torture worldwide. This day serves as an opportunity to unite individuals, civil society organizations, and UN member states in supporting the hundreds of thousands of people who have suffered from torture and advocating for the end of torture globally.
The UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture holds immense significance in promoting human rights and raising awareness about the devastating consequences of torture. Through commemorating the enforcement of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, this day calls for concerted efforts to eradicate torture in all its forms. By supporting victims and advocating for justice, we contribute to a world that values dignity, respect, and freedom from torture for all individuals.
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