Dr. Bhogendra Sharma has been elected as a member of the United Nations Committee against Torture at the election held during the 14th meeting of the States Parties to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) in Geneva on Tuesday, a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry said.
CAT is the body of ten independent experts that monitors implementation of CAT by its State parties.
Sharma, who is chairman of the Center for Victims of Torture (CVICT), was one of the five members elected for the term of four years (2014-2017). As per the Convention, the Committee comprises of ten members and the election for five of them is held every two years. Though twelve countries had fielded their candidates initially, only eight contested in the election. Four other winning candidates were from Italy, China, Morocco and Denmark.
This is the second time the Nepalese candidate has been elected to the Committee and the first time in last twenty years that Nepal has won an election to an important human rights treaty body.
There are 153 State Parties to the Convention and 140 members were present during the voting on Tuesday, the Ministry said.
Established in 1990, CVICT has been working for rehabilitation of torture victims as well as the prevention of torture in Nepal. It also provides psychosocial services along with medical treatment to torture victims and is in the forefront of the campaign to end impunity and eradicate torture from the country. nepalnews.com