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Coming Events: June, 2010

June 14, 2010

June Events and Activities Highlight Status of
Refugees and Torture Survivors

June 20, 2010 – World Refugee Day

United Nations photo

In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 20 as World Refugee Day.   This year’s theme, announced by the United Nations’ Refugee Agency (UNHCR), is “Home,” in recognition of the plight of more than 40 million uprooted people around the world:  

“At UNHCR we help people find new homes and new futures through resettlement, through voluntary repatriation and through local integration. Most of the time, and where it’s possible, refugees prefer to return to their home countries. Nonetheless, and with conflict continuing or escalating in many countries, finding new homes and allowing people to restart their lives is increasingly difficult…Help us help them to find a place to call home.” See details…

June 26, 2010 – International
Day in Support of Torture Victims

Check out the Refuge Media Project’s award-winning Public Service Announcement for last year’s International Day in Support of Torture Victims. For more information on this project see our website.

UNHCR photo / R. Arnold

 On June 26, 1987, the international Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment went into effect, affirming the equal and inalienable rights of the human family as the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace. The International Day in Support of Torture Victims commemorates that event

“Thirty years ago, there were no treatment centers or services to treat torture survivors. Today there are some 200 centers or programs all over the world. There is now profound knowledge of torture methods, the effects of torture, and how to diagnose and rehabilitate torture victims. Over 100 programs treating torture victims in more than 50 countries — from the United States to Nepal — receive funding from the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture.”
          “The United Nations appeals to all governments and members of civil society to take action to defeat torture and torturers everywhere,” says UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. “This is a day on which we pay our respects to those who have endured the unimaginable. This is an occasion for the world to speak up against the unspeakable.”

Advocates for Survivors of Torture and Trauma (ASTT), serving Washington, DC, and Baltimore, MD, will be hosting an exhibit and lecture on the therapeutic value of art in helping survivors heal. The program will highlight ASTT’s intriguing “Healing Images” project. (Free and open to the public.)  

Center for Victims of Torture

Minnesota’s Center for Victims of Torture will be hosting events on June 24th in Washington, DC, and on June 26th in Minneapolis.

The Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC) has announced a full week of activities beginning June 21, including human rights training for survivors and activists, a panel discussion, “Accountability Now – Ending Torture Forever,” and its annual vigil “to remember the survivors and victims of torture, and to build a powerful movement for the abolition of torture everywhere.”  See the full schedule… 

A World Without Torture

The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) has announced a new online initiative “for everyone who shares the dream of A World Without Torture. For more information see the IRCT’s sites on Facebook and Twitter.

“The greatest threat to the fight against torture is apathy: that we silently accept that torture exists. We’ve created World Without Torture to enable citizens around the world to engage directly in combating torture.” 

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