"The right to the truth – which is both an individual and collective right – is essential for victims but also for society at large. Uncovering the truth of human rights violations of the past can help prevent human rights abuses in the future."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero
Photo: © Carlos Reyes Manzo/APA
On 21 December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 March as the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.
The purpose of the Day is to:
- Honour the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice;
- Pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all;
- Recognize, in particular, the important work and values of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, of El Salvador, who was assasinated on 24 March 1980, after denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable populations and defending the principles of protecting lives, promoting human dignity and opposition to all forms of violence.
The UN General Assembly, in its resolution, invites all Member States, international organizations and civil society organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day in an appropriate manner.