UN member states have elected Dr Jens Modvig to serve a second term as independent expert on the UN Committee against Torture. The IRCT would like to congratulate Dr Modvig, a medical doctor and key figure in the rehabilitation movement, on his re-election to the Committee where he currently serves as Chair.
Dr Modvig is the Chief Medical Officer of DIGNITY Danish Institute against Torture, an IRCT member. He also held the position of IRCT Secretary-General from 2000 to 2004.
“During his first four years at the Committee, Dr Modvig has strengthened the Committee’ practice in relation to the right to rehabilitation of torture victims. He is the first health professional to serve as Chair of the Committee and has put his many competencies and rich body of experience at the service of the Committee, strengthening its impact and standing as the global watchdog and promoter of a world without torture”, said IRCT Secretary-General, Victor Madrigal-Borloz.
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, among other obligations, requires states to provide redress to victims,
The IRCT works closely with the Committee to ensure that the United Nations places a high priority on addressing torture victims right to rehabilitation. To achieve this objective it is essential that the Committee membership possesses the relevant expertise and skills, including experience from rehabilitation centres. The re-election of Dr Modvig is therefore of great importance to the entire torture rehabilitation movement and may hopefully inspire other experts from IRCT members to seek similar positions in the future.
Dr Modvig was elected alongside Ms. Hongong Zhang (China), Mr. Diego Rodríguez-Pinzón (Colombia), Ms Saadia Belmir (Morocco) and Mr. Bakhtiyar Tuzmukhamedov (Russia).
The Committee comprises ten independent experts, each elected for 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 specifically related to torture.