22 August: International Day for Victims of Acts of Violence based on Religion or Belief

Every year on 22 August the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief is observed. This day emphasises the significance of aiding victims of religious persecution as part of the UN’s efforts to promote Human Rights related to religious or belief freedom.

It was first made official in 2019 with aim to honour victims and survivors of heinous acts who often remain forgotten. This day comes a day after the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, which is observed on 21 August.

Background

Following an unprecedented rise of violence against religious communities and people belonging to religious minorities, United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) on 28 May 2019, adopted resolution A/RES/73/296 designating 22 August as International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. UNGA recognized the importance of providing victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief and members of their families with appropriate support and assistance in accordance with applicable law.

Significance

By proclaiming an International Day Commemorating Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, the UNGA recalled that States have primary responsibility to promote and protect human rights, including human rights of persons belonging to religious minorities as well as including their right to exercise their religion or belief freely.

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