June 26th - Day in Support of Victims of Torture
Hear from survivors of torture about what rehabilitation has meant for them
What is the 26 June all about?
26 June marks the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. It is an opportunity to honour the individuals and their families who have been subjected to torture, and to remind the world that torture is always wrong.
"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."
~ UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Why is it so important we stand together in solidarity?
Torture is used to make people feel less than human. Through a groundswell of support for survivors of torture on 26 June, we can help survivors to show that the torturers have not won.
The absolute ban on torture was written into international law decades ago. Many governments freely acknowledge that no circumstance can ever justify its use – including during wartime or a national emergency – but the reality is that both physical and psychological torture remain prevalent in over half the world's countries.
Torture is often practiced under the cloak of darkness, with many governments refusing to acknowledge that it is perpetrated by their state agents or take responsibility for its prevention, prosecution of those responsible or ensure rehabilitation for survivors. We must let governments know that this is not acceptable and ensure that the voices of survivors calling for justice are heard.
Why is this year's theme rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation has been designated the theme for 26 June 2012 by organisations working with survivors around the world. Rehabilitation is a fundamental human right of torture victims. At Freedom from Torture, we see daily proof that it works.
Designed to degrade, destroy and harm a person, torture pushes people to unbearable extremes of physical and psychological pain. The effects of these experiences continue long after the actual act has happened.
'They say torture is an act of killing someone without their dying. I am still alive, but inside I feel no life. I don't know who I am anymore.'
~ Amir, Middle East
Rehabilitation is the way out. Helping individuals whose dignity has been destroyed to rebuild their lives takes time, but with access to long-term psychological, physical and social support, survivors of torture may return to physical and mental health. Through rehabilitation, they may once again be able to build trust, lasting relationships and contribute to society.
Rehabilitation offers survivors of torture the opportunity to regain control of their lives.
With thanks to film editor and director Ben Unwin who gave his time without charge to enable Freedom from Torture to produce this film. Our thanks are also due to photographer Dylan Martinez (Reuters) for use of photography; and London-based musician Spekki Chris for his royalty-free loan on the song '1,2,3,4.'
Rehabilitation works and is a torture survivor's right ~ International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims
Conversations on twitter
_laurenalison 37 days till holidays! #countdown #excited #bezzas #26june
nanda_fuzzaki Galaxy S4 Google Edition.. #26June at play store. Nah makin bingung :D (with Nanda) [pic] — t.co/QgXjTDc2d3
billy_perkins01 After talking about @_AyiaNapa with @Billypat11 @jjjdlynch @leonjacques I'm #BUZZING #26june