In a study conducted in 2006 the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded that the right to the truth about gross human rights violations and serious violations of human rights law is an inalienable and autonomous right, linked to the duty and obligation of the State to protect and guarantee human rights, to conduct effective investigations and to guarantee effective remedy and reparations.
The study affirms that the right to the truth implies knowing the full and complete truth as to the events that transpired, their specific circumstances, and who participated in them, including knowing the circumstances in which the violations took place, as well as the reasons for them.
On 21 December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 March as the International Day for the Right to the Truth concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims (A/RES/65/196).
The purposes of the Day are to:
Honour the memory of victims of gross and systematic human rights violations and promote the importance of the right to truth and justice;
Pay tribute to those who have devoted their lives to, and lost their lives in, the struggle to promote and protect human rights for all;
Recognize, in particular, the important work and values of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, of El Salvador, who was assasinated on 24 March 1980, after denouncing violations of the human rights of the most vulnerable populations and defending the principles of protecting lives, promoting human dignity and opposition to all forms of violence.
The UN General Assembly, in its resolution, invites all Member States, international organizations and civil society organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day in an appropriate manner.