International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is part of a global movement to combat torture in all its forms raising awareness of the crime of torture and the right of victims to appropriate rehabilitation services.

Torture is a crime that cannot be justified under any circumstances.
Torture is one of the most profound human rights abuses, taking a terrible toll on millions of individuals and their families. As terrible as the physical wounds are, the psychological and emotional scars are usually the most devastating and the most difficult to repair. Many torture survivors suffer recurring nightmares and flashbacks and, as a result, they withdraw from family, school and work and feel a loss of trust. Help raise awareness by observing International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The day was selected by the United Nations General Assembly for two reasons. First, on 26 June 1945, the United Nations Charter was signed – 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 came into effect.

The decision to annually observe the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was taken by the UN General Assembly at the proposal of Denmark, which is home to the world-renowned International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT).

The first 26 June events were launched in 1998. Since then, nearly 100 organisation in dozens of countries all over the world mark the day each year with events, celebrations and campaigns.

On 16 July 2009, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was chosen as a public holiday in Bosnia and Herzegovina.