Secretary-General's Message for 2012
Twenty-five years since the entry into force of the Convention against Torture, this cruel and dehumanizing practice remains pervasive.
Every day, women, men and children are tortured or ill-treated with the intention of destroying their sense of dignity and human worth. In some cases, this is part of a deliberate state policy of instilling fear and intimidating its population.
In too many countries, people’s legitimate demands for freedom and human rights are met with brutal repression. Even when regimes change, torture often persists and a culture of impunity remains.
On this International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we express our solidarity with, and support for, the hundreds of thousands of victims of torture and their family members throughout the world who endure such suffering.
We also note the obligation of States not only to prevent torture but to provide all torture victims with effective and prompt redress, compensation and appropriate social, psychological, medical and other forms of rehabilitation. Both the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council have now strongly urged States to establish and support rehabilitation centres or facilities.
The United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture supports hundreds of organizations and entities that provide assistance to victims of torture and their family members in all regions of the world. However, the Fund has seen a significant decrease in contributions over the past two years.
I strongly encourage States to reverse this trend, despite current global financial uncertainty. By concretely supporting victims of torture, the international community will prove its unequivocal determination and commitment to fight torture and impunity.