Every year on March 24, the International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and Victim Dignity is observed.
This annual commemoration honours the memory of Monsignor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, who was assassinated on March 24, 1980. Monsignor Romero was an outspoken opponent of human rights violations against El Salvador's most vulnerable citizens.
To honour the memory of victims of heinous and systematic human rights violations and raise awareness of the importance of the right to truth and justice.
To pay tribute to those who have dedicated their lives to, and died for, the promotion and protection of human rights for all.
Who was Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero?
To recognize, in particular, Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador, who was assassinated on March 24, 1980, after denouncing violations of the most vulnerable populations' human rights and defending the principles of protecting lives, promoting human dignity, and opposing all forms of violence.
Romero was assassinated on March 24, 1980, while attending Mass in a chapel at Hospital de la Divina Providencia. An investigation into his death concluded that the killing was ordered by a right-wing pro-government political party, though the perpetrators were never convicted or even publicly identified.
In a 2006 study, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded that the right to know the truth about gross human rights violations and serious violations of human rights law is an inalienable and autonomous right, linked to the State's duty and obligation to protect and guarantee human rights, conduct effective investigations, and ensure effective remedy and reparations.
Right to Truth
According to the study, the right to the truth entails knowing the full and complete truth about the events that occurred, their specific circumstances, and who participated in them, as well as knowing the circumstances under which the violations occurred and the reasons for them.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights identified best practices for the effective implementation of the Right to the Truth in a 2009 report, particularly practices relating to archives and records concerning gross violations of human rights, and programs on the protection of witnesses and other persons involved in trials related to such violations.
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