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International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims

The United Nations (UN) holds a special day to promote a human rights issue on March 24 each year. This day is called the “International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims”.

Teenage student reading a book

The UN encourages people to learn about human rights issues, including the right to truth.

©iStockphoto.com/Mr_Khan

What Do People Do

The UN holds various global activities to promote this event. It also encourages governments and people worldwide to observe this international day by:

  • Honoring victims of human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice.
  • Paying tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all.
  • Recognizing the important work and values of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, of El Salvador, who was assassinated on March 24, 1980, after denouncing human rights violations and defending the principles of protecting lives, promoting human dignity and opposing violence.

Public Life

The International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is a UN observance and not a public holiday.

Background

In 2006 the UN confirmed that people had the right to know the truth about gross human rights violations and serious violations of human rights law. Furthermore, this right was linked to governments’ duty and obligation to protect and guarantee human rights, to conduct effective investigations and to guarantee effective remedy and reparations.

In December 2010, in a bid to promote human rights, the UN proclaimed March 24 as the “International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims”. The day remembers human rights victims, including Archbishop Romero, who campaigned for human rights for many years and was shot at a church altar in 1980.

World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights Violations Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015TueMar 24World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights ViolationsUnited Nations observance
2016ThuMar 24World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights ViolationsUnited Nations observance
2017FriMar 24World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights ViolationsUnited Nations observance
2018SatMar 24World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights ViolationsUnited Nations observance
2019SunMar 24World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights ViolationsUnited Nations observance
2020TueMar 24World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights ViolationsUnited Nations observance
2021WedMar 24World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights ViolationsUnited Nations observance
2022ThuMar 24World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights ViolationsUnited Nations observance
2023FriMar 24World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights ViolationsUnited Nations observance
2024SunMar 24World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights ViolationsUnited Nations observance
2025MonMar 24World Day for Truth concerning Human Rights ViolationsUnited Nations observance

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