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 date was chosen because on 24 March 1980, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador was assasinated, after denouncing violations of human rights.
For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history. Every year on 25 March, the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. The International Day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.
The UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June marks the moment in 1987 when the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, one of the key instruments in fighting torture, came into effect. Today, the Convention has been ratified by 162 countries.
On the night of 2 to 3 August 1944, around 3,000 Roma men, women and children from the ‘Gypsy family camp’ of Auschwitz-Birkenau were murdered in the gas chambers. They were among hundreds of thousands of victims of the Roma genocide, killed by the Nazis and their allies. The Roma were one of many groups who fell victim to the Holocaust.
Enforced disappearance has become a global problem and is not restricted to a specific region of the world. Once largely the product of military dictatorships, enforced disappearances can nowadays be perpetrated in complex situations of internal conflict, especially as a means of political repression of opponents.
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.
UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter. With the ratification of this founding document by the majority of its signatories, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the United Nations officially came into being.
The General Conference of UNESCO approved the commemoration of a World Day for Audiovisual Heritage in 2005 as a mechanism to raise general awareness of the need to preserve and safeguard important audiovisual material for future generations, and for urgent measures to be taken to conserve this heritage and ensure it remains accessible to the public now, and to future generations.
Over the past 11 years, more than 900 journalists have been killed for bringing news and information to the public. Worryingly, only one in ten cases committed against media workers over the past decade has led to a conviction.
The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is observed by the United Nations on or around 29 November each year, in accordance with General Assembly mandates contained in resolutions 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, 34/65 D of 12 December 1979, and subsequent resolutions adopted under agenda item “Question of Palestine.”
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