OMCT and SOS Torture network call on all humans to honour torture victims & take action
We would be delighted to be able to say that the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is one that celebrates a thing of the past. Instead, year after year, we at the World Organisation Against Torture have to remind you that torture won’t end until we all take action against it.
Torture hasn’t stopped with the Middle Ages as we may sometimes believe. It is on-going – worse: the use of torture is on the rise around the world and in many societies the public remains indifferent to torture. It affects thousands of men, women and children from all walks of life, and in all countries – all humans.
States resort to it for any kind of justifications ranging from perceived national security imperatives, to lack of resources and proper rule of law structures. And it is not for lack of means to combat torture. A series of national laws and international instruments criminalize torture and could quite simply end impunity if they were simply used or enforced systematically.
A legal prohibition is not enough if it is not fully implemented. So what will change this state of affairs? The public – which includes you and everyone of us!
So here is our message to the world for this international day of commemoration of victims of torture: only when all humans around the world will demand their Governments finally put their laws into action will torture end.
That means we must be aware of what torture is and of the situations where torture is most likely to happen. We must show the many faces of those who have suffered torture to remember that we could be next. We must show the many faces of those who are working to help these victims and their communities.
That is why OMCT is launching, on this occasion and for its 30th anniversary this year, a global digital campaign called #HumansAgainstTorture, dubbed HAT for short. We invite anybody to show their face against torture and organizations around the world and unite into a single voice around the world in saying that nothing can justify torture.
For more details on how to join this campaign and platform of action HAT, please visit our brand new campaign website, www.joinhat.org, which we are happy to say is now live!
We encourage you to join #HumansAgainstTorture and post your photo wearing a hat. Share your feelings and thoughts and invite others to participate and spread the word.
OMCT Secretary General