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International Day in Support of Victims of Torture 2024

Every year on June 26th, the world observes the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. This important day was established by the United Nations in 1997 to raise awareness about the terrible practice of torture and to show support for those who have suffered from it.

Why is This Day Important?

Torture is one of the worst things that humans can do to each other. It’s not just painful physically, but it also hurts people mentally and emotionally. The United Nations has always said that torture is wrong and must be stopped everywhere in the world.

What is Torture?

Torture is when someone deliberately causes severe pain or suffering to another person, usually to punish them or to get information. It’s a crime against humanity and is never allowed under any circumstances.

Key Points About Torture

Torture is Illegal Everywhere

  • Torture is against international law.
  • Every country must follow this rule, even if they haven’t signed specific agreements about it.
  • When torture happens a lot in one place, it’s called a crime against humanity.

No Excuses for Torture

  • There is never a good reason to use torture.
  • Even in wars or for national security, torture is still wrong.
  • Torture doesn’t just hurt the person being tortured; it can cause problems for generations.

Torture is Still Happening

Despite being illegal, torture still occurs in many parts of the world. The UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Alice Jill Edwards, says that torture is increasing, partly because there are more conflicts in the world now than there have been since 1945.

Helping Victims of Torture

The Importance of Healing

People who have been tortured need special help to recover. Around the world, there are centers and organizations that work to help torture survivors heal and rebuild their lives.

The UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture

This special fund, managed by the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva, helps torture victims and their families by providing:

  • Legal help
  • Social support
  • Humanitarian aid
  • Psychological care
  • Medical services

The fund helps many different groups of people, including:

  • Human rights defenders
  • Prisoners
  • Children and teenagers
  • Refugees and migrants
  • Indigenous peoples
  • LGBTI individuals

How Can We Support Victims of Torture?

On this International Day, we’re all called to action. Here are some ways we can help:

  1. Raise Awareness: Share information about torture and its effects with others.
  2. Support Organizations: Donate to or volunteer with groups that help torture survivors.
  3. Speak Out: Condemn torture whenever and wherever it occurs.
  4. Learn More: Educate yourself about human rights and the fight against torture.
  5. Show Compassion: Treat all people with dignity and respect, especially those who have suffered.

The Path to Healing

Recovering from torture is a difficult journey, but it’s possible. With the right help, survivors can move from pain to healing. The work of rehabilitation centers shows that victims can rebuild their lives and find hope again.

Why We Must Keep Fighting Torture

Ending torture is crucial for several reasons:

  • It protects human dignity
  • It upholds basic human rights
  • It prevents long-lasting trauma
  • It helps create a more peaceful world

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