Each year on June 26, rehabilitation centers and human rights organizations around the world mark the United Nations’ International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
The day — which marks the coming into force in 1987 of the U.N. Convention Against Torture — serves as a reminder that torture is an international crime and a human rights violation.
Torture not only wounds the body, it wounds the psyche and the spirit, according to the Center for Victims of Torture, an international nonprofit organization headquartered in the United States that provides direct care to torture survivors. Healing is a slow process, the center says, even among the most resilient individuals.
According to the center, there are some 500,000 survivors of politically motivated torture who have found refuge in the United States.
President Obama has condemned the use of torture and pledged that the United States will continue efforts to eradicate its use and rehabilitate its victims.