“Dehumanizing” practice of torture remains pervasive (Podcast)

The dehumanizing practice of torture remains pervasive and is disturbingly gaining acceptance, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday. (Podcast)


Somali singers advocating “No torture” line up before performance outside Mogadishu Central Prison on 10 December 2013. UN Photo/ Tobin Jones

He made the remarks on the International Day of Support for the Victims of Torture observed annually on 26 June.

Torture is strictly prohibited under international law.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The law on torture is crystal clear, the UN chief underscored in his message of solidarity with the victims of torture and their families.

Torture can never be used at any time or under any circumstance including during conflict or when national security is under threat, he said.

Around the world, in every region, men, women and children are still being subjected to this form of abuse by non-State actors and under direct State policy.

Mr Ban Ki-moon called on the 159 States that ratified the Convention Against Torture to support the UN Voluntary Fund Against Torture.

Established in 1981 by the UN General Assembly, it requires a minimum of US $12 million annually in voluntary contributions.

The Fund supports hundreds of organizations that provide legal, social, psychological and medical support to some 50,000 victims every year.

It is a lifeline of last resort when States fail to prevent torture and provide support to victims.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’01”