Why June 26?
- 26 June is an opportunity to call on all stakeholders including UN Member States, civil society and individuals everywhere to unite in support of the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have been survivors of torture and those who are still tortured today.
- 26 June is the day in 1987 when the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, one of the key instruments in fighting torture, came into effect. Today, the Convention is ratified by 159 UN Member States.
- On this day, we stand together to honor the survivors, to show that they are not alone, and to renew our mission to work for a world without torture.
Torture is still endemic
- Torture still exists and survivors of torture are in all regions of the world. Surveys show a shocking number of people even favor its use. It is estimated that there are 35,000 torture survivors in San Diego and 1.3 million in the United States.
Laws regarding torture
- No circumstances ever justify the use of torture or other forms of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment and punishment — whether a state of war, a threat of war, internal political instability, or any other public emergency or national security situation.
- Providing assistance to survivors of torture is not charity; it is the law. Article 14 of the Convention Against Torture stipulates the obligation of States to ensure that a victim of torture under their jurisdiction obtains redress, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.
- States must take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under their jurisdiction. States must also provide effective and prompt redress, compensation and rehabilitation for all torture survivors.
Effects of torture and the work of rehabilitation centers
- Torture’s pervasive effect on societies lies in spreading fear and intimidation; its consequences often go beyond the isolated act on an individual. The trauma of torture can be transmitted through generations and lead to cycles of violence and revenge.
- Recovering from torture requires prompt and specialized programs. However, rehabilitation is possible through the doctors, lawyers, therapists and social workers who work with survivors of torture, including children and adolescents every day. The work of rehabilitation centers, such as Survivors of Torture, International and organisations around the world, has demonstrated that survivors can make the transition from horror to healing.