AU Watch

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

The right to truth emerges in the context of gross violations of human rights and grave breaches of humanitarian law. Those related to victims of summary executions, enforced disappearance, abductions, and torture seek clarification about their loved ones’ situation. Gaining knowledge of the full and complete truth as to the occurrences, their specific circumstances, and the perpetrators, and their context and underlying reasons lies at the heart of the right to the truth. In cases relating to enforced disappearance and missing persons, the right furthermore entails the right to knowledge about the victims’ fate and whereabouts.

24 March of every year marks the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims, as decided by the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 2010.
The purpose of the Day is to honor the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations and promote the right to truth and justice; to pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives to and sacrificed their lives in the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all; to give recognition to the important work and principles of the El Salvadorian Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, who was assassinated by pro-government forces on 24 March 1980 for actively fighting human rights violations against the most vulnerable populations and defending the principles of protecting and promoting human lives and dignity and opposing all forms of violence.