International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims

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2024 Date24 March 2024
2025 Date24 March 2025

International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims

International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims in
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The International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims honors the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations. This day also aims to promote the importance of the right to truth and justice. It seeks to address and acknowledge the specific sufferings ensued by these violations and to recognize the intense efforts of individuals who have fought to reveal and rectify such injustices.

The genesis of this observance is rooted in the endeavor of Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador, who identified and decried instances of human rights violations in his country and was assassinated on March 24, 1980. In India, the day holds special significance due to various gross human rights violations that have occurred in its history, such as the atrocities during the Partition, anti-Sikh riots, and more recent concerns over civil liberties. The aspiration of the day resonates with the Indian ethos of Satyameva Jayate (Truth alone triumphs), encouraging Indians to continually seek truth in regards to these violations and pursue justice.

In India, the observance of the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims varies. Some organizations host discussions, conduct public awareness campaigns, and launch initiatives that encourage historical inquiry and truth-seeking. Others emphasize protecting the rights of marginalized groups that are often the victims of such violations. This observance takes place every year on the 24th of March, as a tribute to Archbishop Romero and as a reminder to the Indian populace to strive for the truth and support the dignity of victims.

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Facts about this day

  • March 24th serves as tribute to the memory of El Salvadorian Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero. Romero was assassinated on March 24th, 1980 after denouncing human right violations against vulnerable populations. He tried to preach human dignity and to speak out against all forms of violence.
  • According to the UN, the right to the truth about human rights violations is an inalienable and autonomous right. As such, this right must be protected and guaranteed by individual nations. It is up to each nation to conduct effective investigations and to guarantee effective solutions and reparations.
  • India has been repeatedly criticized for its failure to abolish and effectively penalize the practice of manual scavenging, a degrading occupation involving the removal of human excrement from toilets by hand, which is mainly carried out by individuals from marginalized communities.
  • Tribal people, known as Adivasis, who are among the most disadvantaged social groups in India, often face violations of their rights to land, resources, and livelihoods, as well as violence and exploitation.

Top things to do in India for this observance

  • Read the UN's resolution to implement effective practices to promote the right to truth https://undocs.org/A/HRC/12/19
  • Social Media Campaigns: Participating in social media campaigns can help to spread awareness about human rights violations and the importance of dignity for victims. Look for hashtags or campaigns to join on platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
  • Read a book to learn more about Human Rights Violations in India:
    India: Social Issues and Human Rights - by Usha Rai and Radha Kumar
    The Burning Forest: India's War in Bastar - by Nandini Sundar

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