26 June 2013
Right to Rehabilitation
The United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, on 26 June, gives us the opportunity to stand united and remind the world that torture is a cruel violation of human rights.
Right to Rehabilitation is the theme for the 26 June 2013 campaign. At the end of 2012, the UN Committee Against Torture published a General Comment on Article 14 of the Convention Against Torture, which states:
Each State Party shall ensure in its legal system that the victim of an act of torture obtains redress and has an enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.
The General Comment clarified points of Article 14, namely that rehabilitation should be holistic, that States have a financial obligation regardless of resources available, that it must be accessible at the soonest possible point after torture, and that torture victims have a right to choose their provider, be it nongovernmental organisations or the State providing services.
However, while international law grants all torture victims a right to rehabilitation, this is unfortunately not always a reality. As such, we wanted to use 26 June, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, to reiterate that victims of torture have this right – a Right to Rehabilitation – and that supporting victims of torture can mean providing as full rehabilitation as possible, through a holistic approach that includes medical, psychological, and social needs, and access to justice and redress.
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