Today is 26 June the day when we all stand united to honour torture victims worldwide. For those in the movement, it has always been a day marked by great energy with hundreds of activities taking place all over the world. Although the activities take many different forms, their message is united: torture is a cruel violation of human rights, and torture victims have the right to rehabilitation.
To mark the day, the IRCT and its Lebanese member Restart, chose to bring together rehabilitation centres as well as representatives from academia, governments and civil society to advance what is one of the most important issues in the sector today – making the right to rehabilitation a reality.
Despite advancements on the clarification of States’ obligations under international law, rehabilitation services are yet not readily available in all countries. Not all governments have specific programmes or health budget lines to provide or ensure the provision of rehabilitation services to torture victims.
So, we wanted this 26 June to be about action. It is about making the right to rehabilitation a reality.
Over the next two days, a large group of experienced and determined people will get together in Beirut, Lebanon to identify challenges to the delivery and funding of rehabilitation in context specific settings. They will also be sharing ways to tackle those issues and discuss lessons learned.
After these two days they will leave Beirut with new knowledge of best practices, innovative strategies and renewed strength to encourage their States to step up efforts in providing holistic and patient-centred rehabilitation services.
Because we are a global movement and the problem of torture needs concerted action, they will also leave from here with a plan for cooperative action to ensure our goal comes about worldwide; to ensure this right becomes a reality for all. Now.
What will you do today to honour the victims of torture? Here are some suggestions:
– Share a message of support on Facebook or Twitter. Here is a suggestion: Torture victims have the right to rehabilitation. Let’s make this right a reality. You can upload one of the posters in your own language.
Editor’s Note: Fábio, IRCT’s Acting Head of Communications, writes from Beirut, Lebanon, where the global conference on the right to rehabilitation is taking place.