Today, June 26, is International Day for the Support of Victims of Torture. This day is an annual international celebration by the United Nation. It is a day to speak out against the crime of torture and to honor and support victims as well as survivors around the world.
The aim is to pay tribute to the victims of various forms of torture, and to dedicate a day to remembering and supporting the many victims of torture around the world.
The UN General Assembly has declared today for two reasons, first, the United Nations Charter was signed on June 26, 1945, in the midst of World War II. This is the first international mechanism that members of the United Nations are committed to respecting and promoting human rights. Second, June 26, 1987 was the date on which the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into force. Therefore, June 26 was declared as the International Day for the Support of Victims of Torture.
The decision to commemorate this day annually was made by the United Nations General Assembly on a resolution by Denmark, which is also the home of the International Rehabilitation Council for the Torture (IRCT). This day is also celebrated in Sri Lanka every year.
To mark the occasion, the Sri Lanka Collective Against Torture and the Right to Life Human Rights Centre conducted public discussion under the theme “Do not allow the scourge of torture in the Covid pandemic”. President’s Counsel Saliya Peiris, Attorney-at-Law Basil Fernando, Attorney-at-Law Ambika Sathkunanathan, Father Nandana Manatunga and Philip Dissanayake were participated as speakers here. The program was moderationd by Attorney-at-Law Dulan Dasanayake.
The public can also view this Zoom discussion through the Aithiya Facebook page.