International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims Date in the current year: March 24, 2017

International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims is a United Nations observance held annually on March 24. It was proclaimed on December 21, 2010 by the UN General Assembly.

The date of March 24 was chosen to commemorate Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador who is remembered for protecting the human rights. Óscar Romero was appointed Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977. In 1979, the Revolutionary Government Junta seized power in the country. The wave of human right abuses and violence swept the country.

Óscar Romero was against the new government. He criticized the US for providing the junta with military aid and called on Salvadoran soldiers to stop carrying out repression. On March 24, 1980, he was short while celebrating Mass. His assassination is ascribed to the right-wing death squads.

The Day focuses on honoring the memory of people who are victims of systematic and gross human rights violations and promoting the significance of the right to truth and justice. All UN member states, organizations and individuals are encouraged to pay tribute to those who devoted their lives to, and died in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights.

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UN Observances

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UN observance, international observance, Óscar Arnulfo Romero, human rights violations