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Ombudsman’s statement on the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to Victims of Terrorism

August 20, 2021 – Today marks the fourth commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism. On this day, we remember and honour every person whose life was taken or harmed by a terrorist attack. We also stand in solidarity with all those whose lives have been forever changed by an act of extremist violence.  

The theme for this year’s International Day of Remembrance of and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism is “Connections”. During the COVID19 pandemic and due to isolation, many victims have had to find creative ways to stay connected with their friends, families and communities.  Many have felt an increase in stress and anxiousness. For victims of terrorism, these feelings may be exacerbated or activated by the previous trauma they suffered. It is important that we connect with victims and continue to support them.

The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism has produced a short film called “Surviving Terrorism: The Power of Connections”. It will feature testimonies of victims and survivors of terrorism from across the world including Canadian Victims of Terrorism, and it will end with a collective ode on connections. They have also developed a Victims of Terrorism Support Portal dedicated to individuals across the globe that have been attacked, injured, traumatized or lost their lives during terrorist attacks and includes resources and supports available to them.
As Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, I have witnessed the long-term impacts of terrorism on its victims. I have also seen the resilience and strength of its survivors. In Canada and around the world, advocates and victim services professionals have been working to address the gap in support for victims and survivors of extremist violence. We must work together to ensure that all victims and survivors have access to justice, guaranteed rights and concrete supports to help them heal. 


Heidi Illingworth 
Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime