From horror to healing: victims of torture must not be left behind

A survivor of military enslavement in Guatemala walks the path towards healing thanks to an emergency grant. A survivor of military enslavement in Guatemala walks the path towards healing thanks to an emergency grant. UN Women/Ryan Brown

26 June 2020

United Nations Secretary General calls torture “abhorrent denial of human dignity”

26 June marks the International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture to remind that torture is a physically and mentally degrading treatment, which violates the dignity of hundreds of people every year and is still persisting. Legally spoken, next to war crimes, genocide and other cruel inhuman treatment, also the systematic and widespread practice of torture is considered a crime against humanity. It is prohibited by international law and cannot be justified under any circumstances. 

To be able to overcome the horror and walk the life-affirming path towards healing, survivors of torture must not be left behind and provided with prompt and specific programs. Also, help must be offered to seek justice, if one is the victim itself or a family member is affected. Additionally, survivors must be provided with psychological support. Numerous aid organisations offer assistance to people affected, among those also the United Nations (UN) Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, which gives support grants to civil society organization worldwide for medical, psychological, legal, social and other assistance. According to the UN, it assists with rehabilitation, reparation, empowerment and access to remedies for nearly 50,000 torture survivors each year.

Back in 1987, the United Nations founded the Committee against Torture (CAT), a body of human rights experts, that monitors the implementation of the joint Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by state parties who have signed and ratified the international human rights document. On the International Day in Support of the Victims of Torture, UN Secretary-General António Guterres calls out: “On this International Day, let us honour the victims of torture and commit to work to achieve a world where such abuse cannot happen.”

 

To read more,  please visit: 

https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/06/1067072

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/CAT/Pages/CATIntro.aspx 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=61&v=_mSRXc8QezA&feature=emb_logo

 

Author: Theresa Bender-Säbelkampf

Read 121 times