This coming Sunday, June 26th, is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The event, which is sponsored by the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, is this year focused on the fact that torture is both a cause and an effect of poverty. The IRCT works to aid torture victims and also to educate the world about the fact that torture is still a problem in our modern society, which is one of those things that's just too horrible to contemplate.
They've chosen June 26th as their international day of support because it was on this date that the United Nations Charter was signed, which was basically the first step toward the promotion of human rights. It's also the date on which the Convention Against Torture came into being.
What is torture, exactly? Well, the IRCT has an entire page that will explain it to you better than I can. In shortest form, though, it's deliberately inflicting serious mental or physical pain (or both) on someone to punish them, to make them give up information, to make someone else give up information, or to instill fear into onlookers. It's hideous, it's horrible, and it's still happening in many countries around the world.
So how can you help, this June 26th (and every other day)?
- Check out the campaign tools to see just what you can do to participate and spread the word about this important cause.
- Check the world map to see if there's an IRCT event happening near you. If not, consider being a part of next year's activities.
- If you use Facebook and/or Twitter, follow the accounts for the IRCT's World Without Torture program (Twitter feed is here). You can also follow the IRCT itself on Facebook and Twitter.
- Spread the word using the other methods provided on the IRCT website.
- Read more about the presence of torture in the world. I'm not saying this will be fun reading, but it's easier to fight a problem when you know more about it.
- And spread the word about June 26th!