Delegation of the European Union to the Holy See,
Order of Malta, UN Organisations in Rome
and to the Republic of San Marino

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On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the EU reaffirms its strong commitment to continue working towards a torture-free world

The torture of human beings has no place in the 21st century. On the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the European Union reaffirms its strong commitment to combating torture worldwide, in all its forms, contexts and settings.

The restrictions and lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to higher levels of human rights violations and abuses in both the public and domestic spheres, including increased violence, arbitrary arrests and detentions, physical attacks and psychological trauma for many human beings.

The Council today approved conclusions reaffirming the EU's strong commitment towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable development Goals (SDGs), which continue to guide the EU internally and externally to build back better and greener.

“I used to be very afraid when going to school and struggling to concentrate on my studies” says Chinsisi, a 14-year-old brave boy with albinism defying odds to remain in school and study. Object of myths fuelled by superstition, people with albinism like Chinsisi, face multiple forms of discrimination worldwide.

“I have never gone to school because my parents do not have resources”, says Ruth, a 14-year old girl from Cameroon. "I am aware of the dangers down there in the mine, […] but I do not have another choice”. COVID-19 exacerbated the root causes driving children like Ruth into work. 2021, the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, is the time to redouble our efforts to get back on track

World Oceans Day reminds us of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet and a major source of food and medicine and a critical part of the biosphere. Thousands of sea animals are killed each year as a result of marine pollution. Almost one third of reef forming corals, and more than a third of marine mammals are now threatened with extinction. The disappearance of tropical coral reefs also threatens to destroy the livelihoods of half a billion people. Together we can all try to protect our ocean.

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