“On this day, I urge States to adopt measures to promote truth, justice and reparations for victims, which is so crucial to ensuring that gross human rights violations are not repeated. Let us all do more to protect human rights and human dignity.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero
Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero
Photo: © Carlos Reyes Manzo/APA

On 21 December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed24 March as the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims.

The purpose of the Day is to:

  • Honour the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice;
  • Pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all;
  • Recognize, in particular, the important work and values of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, of El Salvador, who was assasinated on 24 March 1980, after denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable populations and defending the principles of protecting lives, promoting human dignity and opposition to all forms of violence.

The UN General Assembly, in its resolution, invites all Member States, international organizations and civil society organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day in an appropriate manner.

Right to Truth Day