SINCE its birth, the United Nations has worked towards the goal of eradicating torture. Torture, however, is still reported even in countries which ratified, reaffirmed, expanded, and integrated the prohibition of torture in various international conventions and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
More than two decades after the Convention against Torture came into force, the international community realizes that while it has reaffirmed its faith in the dignity and worth of the human person and created better standards of life in larger freedoms, it has not gotten anywhere near fulfilling the pledge to wipe the scourge of torture off the face of the earth.
Torture has taken a terrible toll on millions of individuals. The psychological and emotional scars are just as devastating and difficult to repair as the physical wounds, with many torture survivors suffering recurring nightmares and flashbacks of their experiences.
As one of the venues to rally all governments and members of civil society to take action to defeat torture and torturers in the world, International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is celebrated on June 26th of each year. It pays respect to those who have endured the unimaginable and pays tribute to those who have selflessly worked to relieve the suffering and assist in the recovery of torture victims around the world.
Many torture victims suffer in silence and endure the physical and emotional anguish their torturers intended. Many of them are talented, educated, and productive people who were purposely disabled, but even after the anguish and pain of being tortured, they still want to contribute to their families and communities.
Let us seize this day to take part in actions to defeat torture and torturers everywhere until the day comes when torture is consigned to the darkest spaces of history.