June 26

June 26 is recognized internationally as United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. On this day in 1987, the UN Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment went into effect.  Every year, CVT commemorates the day with special events to recommit ourselves to heal survivors and end torture.

26 June 2017


With this year’s theme of "Support Life After Torture," CVT Ethiopia commemorated the day with several activities in the two refugee camps where we have healing centers. In both camps, there were coffee discussions with the community to raise awareness and lower stigma for survivors of torture. There was also a bicycle competition in May Ayni camp and football matches in Adi Harush camp. All of these activities led up to a big event in the May Ayni healing center, where speeches were given, a question and answer competition was held, and there was live music, drama skits and dancing. There was a great turnout, and many people who hadn't been to the healing center before came to join in these activities.


CVT Jordan commemorated the day on 31 July with a panel discussion on ‘Supporting Life of Torture and War Trauma Survivors.’ The event, attended by representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, academics, UNHCR and civil society organizations, was an opportunity for relevant organizations in Jordan to share their work on supporting the lives of torture and war trauma survivors. The panel discussion aimed to advocate for victims’ rights to heal the wounds of torture and other war-related trauma, and to advocate for the protection and care of torture and war trauma survivors. It included discussions on the protections for torture and war survivors within the human rights framework, the right to rehabilitation within the international and national legal framework and a presentation on CVT’s trauma rehabilitation model.



CVT Nairobi organized an event in our new clinic in Riruta for about 200 attendees. In support of our clients, staff organized speeches, songs by Congolese refugees, dances from Heshima Kenya and performances emulating a CVT session with clients.

Photo: CVT Nairobi staff share a group hug during activities.


United States


Thirty survivors and their family members attended the 26 June celebration at our Atlanta Healing Center. 

Photo: Celebration sign, CVT Atlanta Healing Center.

The event was held at Square Mile Gallery, a house in a residential neighborhood, which has a front porch for socializing and a playground in the backyard (for which we were especially grateful due to amazing energy of 14 children running around). A Sudanese client gave a prepared speech and an adolescent client shared a rap song in Kiswahili about the hard life he has lived and the turn his life has taken for the better now that he is here. Other clients had spontaneous comments to share about the meaning of their work with CVT here in Atlanta.

St. Paul


In Minnesota, CVT commemorated the day with a celebration at the St. Paul Healing Center to honor the courage, strength and resilience of the survivors we serve. CVT staff and board gathered together with clients and their families to express support, demonstrate our solidarity with all torture survivors around the world, and reaffirm our commitment to work for the end of torture worldwide. Guests enjoyed food from many of the countries our clients call home, and a short program with remarks from a former client and a CVT clinician. A valued community partner was honored with the Healing Connections Award for their service to CVT clients.

Photo: Bracelets in the CVT colors were shared with guests at the St. Paul Healing Center.

Washington, D.C. 

During an evening reception in Washington DC, CVT presented its annual Eclipse Award to Jayne E. Fleming, pro bono counsel at Reed Smith, LLP. We honored Ms. Fleming for the work she has done as a champion for the plight of torture survivors seeking protection and healing. In 2015, Ms. Fleming established a humanitarian protection project in the Middle East where she and colleagues advocated tirelessly for some of the most vulnerable refugees from Syria and Iraq. The reception brought together NGO colleagues, UN officials, U.S. government officials, Congressional staff and academics to honor survivors of torture, commend the work that is being done globally, and highlight how much more must be done in the fight to end torture and ensure that survivors have access to rehabilitation. 

Photo: Curt Goering, CVT executive director, with Eclipse Award winner Jayne Fleming, Reed Smith.



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