INTL. DAY IN SUPPORT OF VICTIMS OF TORTURE


On 12 December 1997, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 26 June the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, with a view to the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.


Since 1981, the UN has helped an average of 50,000 victims of torture every year

Torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being. Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, torture persist in all regions of the world. Concerns about protecting national security and borders are increasingly used to allow torture and other forms of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment. Its pervasive consequences often go beyond the isolated act on an individual and can be transmitted through generations and lead to cycles of violence.


Torture can be physical, taking the form of physical assaults or beatings, or electric shocks. Also can be psychological, or mental, where victims are exposed to loud noise, or solitary confinement, for long periods of time. Torture can also be sexual, involving rape and/or humiliation.


Recovering from torture requires prompt and specialized programmes. The work of rehabilitation centres and organisations around the world has demonstrated that victims can make the transition from horror to healing. The UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, administered by the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva is a unique victim-focused mechanism that channels funding for the assistance to victims of torture and their families.


Sources: un.org, ohchr.org, freedomfromtorture.org


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