Tell us what you did to support torture victims: 26 June Report

A hand-made poster submitted by a child supporter of Trauma Centre in Cape Town for the 2010 Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

A hand-made poster submitted by a child supporter of Trauma Centre in Cape Town for the 2010 Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Just a few years ago, staff at the Trauma Centre for Survivors of Torture and Trauma in South Africa were trying to brainstorm what to do for 26 June, the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

As a rehabilitation centre for victims of torture in Cape Town, the organization wanted to mark the day in some way, but they found they were financially tight that year. They didn’t have a lot of extra Rand to organize a concert, or produce brochures, or plan a conference — some of the many activities of anti-torture organisations on 26 June.

So the staff printed out dozens of the posters – ones distributed all around the world to mark this day – and tacked them to the walls of police stations throughout the cities.

Some of the posters were immediately taken down. But it started a conversation, an important conversation, with members of the police force, who often removed the posters and placed them inside the station or asked more questions about the day itself.

What this action shows is that even a simple activity – putting up some posters – can have a significant and real impact in a community. The actions of Trauma Centre in Cape Town started an important conversation with those most often implicated in acts of torture – the police.

5-postersAs 26 June has come and gone now, we await eagerly to hear about the actions around the world – activities, events, concerts, picnics, conferences – that brought together those who fight against torture and the victims of torture themselves in a worldwide movement. Together this movement shouted with one voice on 26 June – now we want to hear what you said.

So, if you or your organization held an event for the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, tell us:

Write to us at 26june@irct.org and tell us about your event, how many people came, what did you do, what did people get out of it, did the media come, and send us photos that illustrate the events. The IRCT is compiling these reports to publish in our annual 26 June Global Report.

In addition, the 10 organisations that send the best photos will get a full page of the report to showcase their event.

So email your event reports and photos to 26june@irct.org no later than 1 August 2013 and be featured in the 2013 26 June Global Report.

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