Global Report on 26 June is out31-10-2012
Each year, on 26 June, we pause to commemorate and honour the victims of torture, both historic and present. The day has been marked since 1988, which was the first anniversary of the United Nations Convention Against Torture, signed on 26 June 1987.
Yet today, despite its absolute prohibition, torture continues to be a global phenomenon: both physical and psychological torture is prevalent in over half the world’s countries. This is a disgrace in the twenty-first century.
Its victims are men, women – often targeted by rape and other sexual torture, and also, children. Torture victims are disproportionately from marginalised groups, in particular the poor, but also minority groups, such as ethnic, religious and sexual minorities.
The day gives us a time to pause and remember those who have suffered, and stand with those who continue to suffer, for, the effects of torture continue long after the actual act has happened.
Due to such long-lasting effects, rehabilitation is crucial – for the individual torture survivor, their family, their community and society at large. Rebuilding the life of someone whose dignity has been destroyed takes time and as a result long-term medical, psychological, material and social support is needed.
Rehabilitation, in which the survivor becomes an agent of his or her own change, empowers the torture survivor to resume as full a life as possible. Within this report you will read, in the sections devoted to activities around the world, words about and from torture survivors who are a testament to the benefits of rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation not only works, but it is also a right, as per Article 14 of the United Nations Convention Against Torture. Article 14 of the Convention expressly provides that States have a duty to provide compensation, as an enforceable right, including the means for as full rehabilitation as possible.
The right to rehabilitation is something the membership of the IRCT continue to remind States about to this day.
Thus Rehabilitation works, and is a torture survivors right was the theme of this year's 26 June campaign.
It's a message that resonated around the world, among the IRCT's membership of rehabilitation centres and others who took part in the campaign (see p 2).
One hundred organisations took part in marking this 26 June, this was up from 73 in 2011, continuing the growing trend. They organised a staggering range of cultural, educational, political and other activities (see p 8).
On top of this thousands of individuals all over the world took part in online commemorations, through our social media campaign World Without Torture (see p 54).
This 26 June we grasped the opportunity to remind the world that rehabilitation works. We reminded the world that rehabilitation is a right.
But we don't stop on 26 June. Each year over 100,000 survivors of torture receive treatment from IRCT members all over the world. But there are many more who go without the rehabilitation that is their right. We will continue to work to increase our reach in order to bring healing to the greater numbers who suffer, without knowing their rights. It is work that we will continue, towards a world without torture. And it is work for which we count on your continuing support.
Foreword by Joost Martens, IRCT Secretary-General and Mohamud Nurein Said, IRCT President
Full report (available in PDF, 9 Mb)