International Day in Support of Victims of Torture | June 26

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.

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.

What is a Torture?

According to Human Rights Law torture is defined as any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person in which a public official is directly or indirectly involved for a specific reason. Torturers are seen as the ‘enemy of all mankind’. It is considered so barbaric and incompatible with the civilised society that it cannot be tolerated.

In fact the Human Rights Court have stated that torture is ‘deliberate inhuman treatment causing very serious and cruel suffering’.