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International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

1927 drawing depicting Japanese torture method (source: Heibonsha)26 June 2014 -- On 26 June 1987, the Convention against Torture came into force. It was an important step in the much-needed process of globalising human rights and acknowledging that torture, and all forms of inhuman or degrading treatment, are absolutely and universally illegal. Learn more >>

World Refugee Day

90 Ecuadorian refugees on a small boat (source: US Navy)20 June 2014 -- The UN refugee agency reported today, World Refugee Day, that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has, for the first time in the post-World War II era, exceeded 50 million people. The purpose of World Refugee Day is to draw attention to the plight of refugees, celebrate their courage and resilience and renew commitment to solving refugee problems. Learn more >>

Day of the African Child

Primary students in Ghana (source: Steve Courchesne)16 June 2014 -- This Day commemorates the sacrifices made by South African youth, who in 1976 protested the inferior quality of their education. Their peaceful demonstrations were met with violence from law enforcement. The Day also serves to highlight the barriers children continue to face across the continent, including harmful social and cultural practices such as female genital mutilation. Learn more >>

World Day Against Child Labour

African girl selling peanuts by roadside (source: Roman Bonnefoy)12 June 2014-- The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that 215 million children are involved in child labour. This Day commemorates the landmark ILO Convention No. 182, which addresses the need for action to tackle the worst forms of child labour. While celebrating progress made, the Day highlights continuing challenges, such as the many children employed in domestic work. Learn more >>

World Press Freedom Day

video camera (source: Wikimedia Commons/Popperipopp)3 May 2014-- Press freedom is considered to be a cornerstone of human rights and a guarantee of other freedoms. Citizens cannot effectively exercise their right to vote or take part in public decision-making if they do not have free access to information and ideas and are not able to freely express their views. Data for 2013 underscore the negative correlation between freedom of information and conflicts, both open conflicts and undeclared ones. Learn more>>

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

Icon of two men17 May 2014 -- On this day in 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. Like racism, xenophobia or anti-semitism, homophobia is a form of discrimination. While the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments prohibit discrimination, over 75 countries currently have legal provisions criminalising homosexuality. Learn more >>

International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda

Skulls of victims of the genocide in Rwanda (Source: Wikimedia Commons)7 April 2014 -- The Rwandan genocide began on this date in 1994. In three months, Hutu extremists murdered approximately 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus. As part of this Day, special observances and activities in memory of the genocide's victims are held worldwide. The Day also seeks to support the survivors of the genocide and strengthen the international community's efforts to truly make "never again" a reality. Learn more >> 

Millennium Development Goals

The eight Millennium Development Goals range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all by the target date of 2015. Learn more >>

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Related resources

Study guides
Introductions to various human rights topics

Other international days

Upcoming courses and training workshops:

- 2014 Advocacy Institute

- Children in War and Armed Conflicts
- Child Participation
- Children's Rights (Foundation Course)
- Child Rights Programming
- Child Rights Situation Analysis
- Citizens and Advocacy (Advanced Course)
- Digital Security and Privacy
- Election Observation
- Gender and Human Rights (Foundation Course)
- Gender and Transitional Justice
- Human Rights in Humanitarian Action and Disaster Relief (Foundation Course)
- Human Rights-Based Programming
- Indigenous Peoples' Rights
- Introduction to Human Rights Education
- Monitoring & Evaluation in the NGO Sector
- Project Cycle Management
- Transversalización de Género (Igualdad de Género-Curso avanzado)
- The United Nations Human Rights System

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