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International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is annually observed on June 26 to remind people that human torture is not only unacceptable – it is also a crime.

UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

The UN's International Day in Support of Victims of Torture serves as a reminder to people that human torture is a crime.

©iStockphoto.com/ Ryan Klos

What Do People Do?

Rehabilitation centers and human rights organizations around the world celebrate the UN’s International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26 each year. The day serves as a reminder to people that torture is a crime. This event gives everyone a chance to unite and voice their opinions against human torture.

Organizations, including the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and Amnesty International, have played an active role in organizing events around the world to promote the day. Activities may include: photo exhibitions; the distribution of posters and other material to boost people’s awareness of issues related to human torture; and television advertisements.

Public Life

The International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is not a public holiday and public life is not affected.

Background

On June 26, 1987, the Convention against Torture came into force. It was an important step in the process of globalizing human rights and acknowledging that torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment should be universally illegal. In 1997 the United Nations General Assembly decided to mark this historic date and designated June 26 each year as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The first International Day in Support of Victims of Torture was held on June 26, 1998. It was a day when the United Nations appealed to all governments and members of civil society to take action to defeat torture and torturers everywhere. That same year marked the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which proclaims that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

Symbols

The United Nations’ logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches are a symbol for peace, and the world map represents all the people of the world. The logo appears in colors such as black on a white or light yellow background.

World Day to Support Torture Victims Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015FriJun 26World Day to Support Torture VictimsUnited Nations observance
2016SunJun 26World Day to Support Torture VictimsUnited Nations observance
2017MonJun 26World Day to Support Torture VictimsUnited Nations observance
2018TueJun 26World Day to Support Torture VictimsUnited Nations observance
2019WedJun 26World Day to Support Torture VictimsUnited Nations observance
2020FriJun 26World Day to Support Torture VictimsUnited Nations observance
2021SatJun 26World Day to Support Torture VictimsUnited Nations observance
2022SunJun 26World Day to Support Torture VictimsUnited Nations observance
2023MonJun 26World Day to Support Torture VictimsUnited Nations observance
2024WedJun 26World Day to Support Torture VictimsUnited Nations observance
2025ThuJun 26World Day to Support Torture VictimsUnited Nations observance

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