International Day in Support of Victims of Torture (26 June)

The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is an international observance which is held on 26 June every year. It is a day to speak out against the crime of torture and to honour and support victims and survivors throughout the world. This day is observed by the United Nations to raise awareness among the people about human torture that it is not only unacceptable but it is also a crime.

As UPSC surprises aspirants with questions linked with what usually is assumed to be trivia; it is advisable that one must scroll through the facts about International Day in Support of Victims of torture to get the basic information. It might be your lucky day during UPSC Prelims if at all a question is asked from this topic.

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UPSC Facts – International Day in Support of victims of Torture

Read the below-mentioned facts about International Day in Support of Victims of Torture; and aid your IAS Exam preparation along with other competitive exams’ preparation.

Observed on

26 June

First International Day in support of the victims

26 June 1998

Aim

To ensure total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

Why Date is Important

26 June marks the date on which the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect in 1987.

India’s Stand on the Convention

India has signed the convention but is yet to ratify the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment(UNCAT) which was adopted in 1987.

Read more about United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT) in the given link.

What is Torture?

  • Human Rights Law defines torture as any act which causes severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, and which is inflicted intentionally on a person in which a public official is directly or indirectly involved for a specific reason.
  • Torturers are the ‘enemy of all mankind’. It is barbaric and incompatible with civilised society, which should not be tolerated at any level.
  • It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to, lawful sanctions.

Legal standards and instruments against Torture

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948
  • UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1987.
  • United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, 1981.
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The topic can be asked as a Current Affairs Question in IAS Prelims. Visit the attached link to attempt practice quizzes on current affairs.

To read more about the other Important International and National Days, click on the link. Such days and events become very important for UPSC Prelims.

History of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture-

  • UN General Assembly (UNGA) on 12 December 1997 passed a resolution 52/149 and decided to observe 26 June as the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture to eradicate torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Why was 26 June selected?

The day was selected by the United Nations General Assembly for two reasons:

  1. The United Nations Charter, the first international instrument obliging UN members to respect and promote human rights, was signed on 26 June 1945, during the midst of World War II.
  2. 26 June 1987 marks the date on which the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect.

How is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is celebrated?

  • International organisations like the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims and Amnesty International organise several events around the world to promote and make people aware about this day.
  • In these events various activities like photo exhibitions, distribution of posters and other material to boost people’s awareness related to human torture etc. are organised.
  • The UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, which accepts donations, is administered by the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva. It channels funding for the assistance to victims of torture and their families.

Get the list of International Organisations and their Headquarters at the given link.

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