International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief: 22nd August

United Nations observes 22 August every year as “International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief”. The day is observed to strongly condemn continuing violence and acts of terrorism targeting individuals, including persons belonging to religious minorities, on the basis of or in the name of religion or belief. The first International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief was observed on 22nd August 2019.

Objective of the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief:

  • The day promotes the role of freedom of religion or belief and freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom of association to combat all forms of intolerances and discriminations based on religion and belief.
  • To promote the importance of proper support and assistance with applicable law for the victims of violence based on religion or belief.
  • It aims to spread awareness that international communities must work together to achieve justice for the survivors of past abuses by holding perpetrators accountable, and demonstrating to governments that action must be taken to ‘never again’ tolerate genocide or other atrocities.

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History of International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief:

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution A/RES/73/296 on 28th May 2019, declaring 22nd August as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. The UNGA recalled that the member states have the primary responsibilities to promote and protect the human rights of the individuals of religious minorities and their rights to practice their religion and belief.

Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief

  1. The acts of intolerance and violence against the individuals who belong to religious communities and religious minorities around the world.
  2. The number and intensity of these kinds of incidents of criminal nature are increasing.
  3. These kinds of acts on the individuals or against their homes, businesses, properties, schools, cultural centres or places of worship, shrines and sites are in violation of international law.

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2020 Events:

  • Alliance Defending Freedom(ADF) India, partner of ADF International, organized a high-profile online conference on the fundamental right to religious freedom, featuring the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
  • The event is a part of the “No One Should Be Targeted for Their Faith” campaign which addresses the religious persecution in India and beyond.
  • On August 27, The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) will host the conversation with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide and discuss conditions for Rohingya Muslims in Burma, in refugee camps in Bangladesh, etc.

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