International Day in Support of Victims of Torture – June 26

by Marissa Costello

June is Torture Awareness Month.

June 26 is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The UN proclaimed this day on June 26, 1987, It is set as a day to effect change in the hopes of total eradication of torture. The dates were not chosen at random since 25 years ago on June 26th is when the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into force.
According to National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), torture can no longer be justified as a means of national security. Torture should no longer be enacted for a plethora of reasons but two specifically stand out, one being that the 8th amendment of the United States Constitution states that their should be no means of cruel or unusual punishment inflicted even though facilities such as Guantanamo Bay, which is notoriously suspected for torturing its prisoners, are still in operation.

In the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, it states that “all men [sic] are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Although torture is not specifically mentioned in the beginning of the declaration, people should be given the right to be treated as free and unharmed persons since torture does not agree with ones pursuit of happiness or liberty. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Torture practices occur all around the world but is especially important that the United States does not participate in these practices since it is against the framework that our country was created on.

Find policy statements and other resources on stopping torture from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

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