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International Day in Support of Victims of Torture International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
by The Ovi Team
2018-06-26 08:03:07
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"Every day, women, men and children are tortured or ill-treated with the intention of destroying their sense of dignity and human worth. [...] By concretely supporting victims of torture, the international community will prove its unequivocal determination and commitment to fight torture and impunity."
                                                                        
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

June 26th is the international day in support of victims of torture. Torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being. The United Nations has condemned torture from the outset as one of the vilest acts perpetrated by human beings on their fellow human beings.

torture01Torture is a crime under international law. According to all relevant instruments, it is absolutely prohibited and cannot be justified under any circumstances. This prohibition forms part of customary international law, which means that it is binding on every member of the international community, regardless of whether a State has ratified international treaties in which torture is expressly prohibited. The systematic or widespread practice of torture constitutes a crime against humanity.

On 12 December 1997, by resolution 52/149, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 26 June the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, with a view to the total eradication of torture and the effective functioning of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, (resolution 39/46), annex, which entered into force on 26 June 1987.

In 1948, the international community condemned torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. In 1975, responding to vigorous activity by non-governmental organizations(NGOs), the General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Being Subjected to Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

During the 1980s and 1990s, progress was made both in the development of legal standards and instruments and in enforcement of the prohibition of torture. The United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture was established by the General Assembly in 1981 to fund organizations providing assistance to victims of torture and their families. The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment was adopted by the General Assembly in 1984 and came into force in 1987. Its implementation by States parties is monitored by a body of independent experts, the Committee against Torture. The first Special Rapporteur on torture, an independent expert mandated to report on the situation of torture in the world, was appointed by the Commission on Human Rights in 1985. During the same period, the General Assembly adopted resolutions in which it highlighted the role of health personnel in protecting prisoners and detainees against torture and established general principles for the treatment of detained persons. In December 1997, the General Assembly proclaimed 26 June United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The United Nations has repeatedly acknowledged the important role played by NGOs in the fight against torture. In addition to lobbying for the establishment of United Nations instruments and monitoring mechanisms, they have made a valuable contribution to their enforcement. Individual experts, including the Special Rapporteur on torture and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, and treaty monitoring bodies such as the Committee against Torture rely heavily on information brought to their attention by NGOs and individuals.



      
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