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IRCT welcomes the election of health expert to UN Committee against Torture

The UN Committee against Torture has elected five new members, including Dr Jens Modvig from DIGNITY Danish Institute Against Torture, an IRCT member.

The IRCT would like to congratulate Dr Modvig, a medical doctor and expert on rehabilitation and prevention of torture in detention, for his election to the Committee. Dr Modvig previously served as Secretary-General of the IRCT.

The IRCT has advocated for the election of members with health expertise to the Committee.

“Health expertise is an essential element of the Committee’s work,” says Hanne Pilegaard, Head of Advocacy and Legal Team of the IRCT. “The Committee’s work often focuses on states’ obligations to ensure holistic rehabilitation or forensic medical documentation of torture. We are therefore very happy to see the election of Dr Modvig, who has this particular expertise.”

Saadia Belmir (Morocco), Alessio Bruni (Italy), Bhogendra Sharma (Nepal), and Kening Zhang (China) were also elected to the Committee.

The Committee against Torture reviews states’ implementation of the UN Convention against Torture – the international treaty that bars the use of torture, calls for states to fully investigate allegations of torture and obligates states to provide redress to victims, among other obligations.

The Committee is comprised of ten independent experts, who are elected on four-year terms. Every two years, State Parties to the Convention elect five members, who should meet the criteria of high moral standing, independence and proven expertise in human rights and specifically the issue of torture.


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