International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism, which takes place on August 21 every year, is a day dedicated to remembering those whose lives have been irrevocably impacted by acts of terrorism. Some of them had to say goodbye to loved ones and many of them require financial and medical assistance. When the aftermath of a terrorist incident fades, victims of terrorism sometimes feel abandoned and forgotten. These victims would fight for their rights to be respected and their voices to be heard. However, victims of terrorist attacks frequently lack the resources necessary to completely rehabilitate. This day was established to recognize and support survivors of terrorist attacks.
History of International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism
In 2017, the U.N. General Assembly declared August 21 as the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to Terrorist Victims, with the goal of honoring and supporting terrorism victims, as well as promoting and protecting their human rights and fundamental freedoms. The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, released his report on the ”Progress of the UN System to Support Member States in Aiding Victims of Terrorism” in April 2020, as requested by the General Assembly.
Dehumanization of victims is one of the conditions that spread terrorism, according to the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which unanimously adopted a resolution on September 8, 2006, stating that the most effective way to combat this is to take measures that respect human dignity and uphold the rule of law. Since the sixth review in 2018, events at the international, regional, and national levels have progressively indicated that victims’ assistance has progressed beyond symbolic solidarity to a more active engagement to promote their rights and demands. This is evident in the formation of a Group of Friends of Terrorism Victims in 2019, co-chaired by the Permanent Representatives of Afghanistan and Spain to the U.N., as well as a General Assembly resolution on enhancing international collaboration to aid terrorism victims.
The seventh review resolution, enacted on June 30, 2021, emphasizes the importance of defending the rights and meeting the needs of terrorist victims, particularly women, children, and those harmed by terrorists’ sexual and gender-based abuse.
International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism timeline
The Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy unanimously adopts a resolution to take measures that respect human dignity and uphold the rule of law.
The U.N. General Assembly declared August 21 as the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to Terrorist Victims.
The Group of Friends of Terrorism Victims by the Permanent Representatives of Afghanistan and Spain to the United Nations is formed.
The fifth observance of the International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to Terrorist Victims takes place.
International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism FAQs
What is the U.S.V.S.S.T.?
The U.S.V.S.S.T. Fund was established to provide compensation to victims of international state-sponsored terrorism.
Who are the victims of terrorism?
The majority of terrorist casualties are ordinary people who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and are arbitrarily targeted in violent attacks.
What is the duration for victim recovery?
Many survivors need years to fully heal from their injuries or come to terms with their losses, and many remain extremely traumatized as a result of the terrorist attack.
How to Observe International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism
Make an effort to educate oneself
While the average person lacks the necessary tools to prevent terrorist acts, you can help by attempting to be understanding and tolerant of people who are different from you. Understanding one another goes a long way toward reducing enmity across different races or religions.
Pause and remember the victims of terrorism
On this day, take a moment to commemorate those who have died as a result of terrorist attacks around the world. Donate to humanitarian organizations that assist terror attack victims. Tell anyone you know who has been a victim of a terrorist attack about the U.N.'s Support Portal.
Make use of your platform to bring attention to this day and raise awareness about it. Don't forget to use the hashtag #InternationalDayOfRemembranceAndTribute to commemorate this significant day on social media.
5 Facts About Terrorism
21,000 deaths per year
Terrorists have killed an average of 21,000 people a year for the past decade.
Terrorism is a geographical focus
Most acts of terrorism are perpetuated in specific regions of the world.
Honors the lives of babies
Terrorism was responsible for 0.05 percent of all deaths worldwide in 2017.
Airline hijackings were once widespread, but they are now extremely rare.
0.01% of deaths
Terrorism is responsible for less than 0.01% of deaths in most countries.
Why International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism is Important
It honors the victims of terrorism
Senseless acts of terrorism claim the lives of many innocent people. This day was founded to recognize and pay tribute to victims and survivors of terrorism.
It offers assistance to survivors
Surviving a terrorist attack has a mental, emotional, and economic impact on the victims. This day was set aside to show sympathy and help to terrorism victims and to strengthen solidarity with them.
It enlightens the general public
Terrorism is an obvious violation of humanity's basic human rights. This day is intended to raise awareness of fundamental freedoms and human rights, as well as to promote and safeguard them.
International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism dates