United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

26 June, 2024


26 June is observed as the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, to speak out against the crime of torture, and honour victims and survivors of torture. In 1987 on this day, the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment came into effect. Torture is any act through which extreme physical or mental pain or suffering is inflicted intentionally on a person, as a form of punishment, discrimination, or to gain third party information or a confession.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights condemns torture and other degrading and cruel treatment of people that are inflicted without the consent of a person acting in an official capacity or a legal official.

In the context of sexual and reproductive health and rights, torture is inflicted in many forms, such as gender-based violence, sexual violence, intimate-partner violence, abuse, obstetric violence, and more, deeply impacting the sexual agency, physical and mental health, and dignity of affected individuals. Certain forms of torture are more prevalent in regions affected by humanitarian crises and conflict, such as Gaza, Ukraine, and among refugee groups seeking shelter in other countries. Despite human rights laws and regulations, such violence is inflicted against vulnerable groups across the world.

SRHM strongly condemns torture and inhumane treatment of any kind and has published important articles on the challenges to ending different kinds of torture (such as sexual and intimate partner violence) in several countries, the factors underlying the prevalence of abuse and suffering despite human rights laws and policies, and the efficacy and feasibility of interventions and policies that can help end these inhumane practices.

Please find below a list of articles on this topic:


Victims or perpetrators, agency, and politics of intimate partner violence in the social construction of health and wellbeing: a qualitative study from Kenya


Harmful practices prevail despite legal knowledge: a mixed-method study on the paradox of child marriage in Bangladesh


The OHCHR background note on human rights violations against intersex people


Ending the abuse: the human rights implications of obstetric violence and the promise of rights-based policy to realise respectful maternity care

Mortality in Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh: historical, social, and political context

An exploration of gender-based violence in eastern Myanmar in the context of political transition: findings from a qualitative sexual and reproductive health assessment


Preventing violence against women and girls in Bihar: challenges for implementation and evaluation

Criminal law and the risk of harm: a commentary on the impact of criminal laws on sexual and reproductive health, sexual conduct and key populations

Legal barriers to access abortion services through a human rights lens: the Uruguayan experience


Legal strategies to protect sexual and reproductive health and rights in the context of the refugee crisis in Europe: a complaint before the European Ombudsperson

Protecting safe abortion in humanitarian settings: overcoming legal and policy barriers

Sexual violence against men and boys in conflict and forced displacement: implications for the health sector

Clinical outreach refresher trainings in crisis settings (S-CORT): clinical management of sexual violence survivors and manual vacuum aspiration in Burkina Faso, Nepal, and South Sudan

Let’s talk about sex work in humanitarian settings: piloting a rights-based approach to working with refugee women selling sex in Kampala


The human rights of intersex people: addressing harmful practices and rhetoric of change

Out of the shadows? The inclusion of men and boys in conceptualisations of wartime sexual violence

Understanding women’s experience of violence and the political economy of gender in conflict: the case of Syria

Obstetric violence: a new framework for identifying challenges to maternal healthcare in Argentina

Invisible wounds: obstetric violence in the United States


Sexual torture of Palestinian men by Israeli authorities

What the eye does not see: a critical interpretive synthesis of European Union policies addressing sexual violence in vulnerable migrants

Sound and Fury ‒ engaging with the politics and the law of sexual rights


Policy Paper on Sexual and Gender-Based Crimes

Contesting the cruel treatment of abortion-seeking women

Conscientious objection, barriers, and abortion in the case of rape: a study among physicians in Brazil


In a time of torture