Many states have continued to use torture in their law enforcement systems even though the practice is banned under international law, the
United Nations said ahead of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on Saturday.
"Torture is a crime," UN Secretary General
Ban Ki-moon said in a message. "The prohibition of torture is absolute and unambiguous", DPA reported.
"And yet, torture is still practiced or tolerated by many states. Impunity persists for the perpetrators. The victims continue to suffer."
Ban urged states that have not yet ratified the UN Convention against Torture and its provisions to do so and to allow a UN special rapporteur on torture to visit their prisons.
The UN has established international days to highlight the importance of various issues throughout the year. Those issues include human rights, slavery and economic development.
June 26 each year is also International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
A separate message was issued reminding the world that drug abuse poses significant health challenges and that drugs are a threat to the environment.
"The illicit drug trade also undermines governance, institutions and societal cohesion," the message said. It said drug traffickers typically seek routes where the rule of law is weak and drug crimes have exacerbated instability and poverty.