Pinay doctor to serve in UN anti-torture body

Posted at 10/26/2012 4:39 PM | Updated as of 10/26/2012 11:38 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino doctor was elected to serve as one of the 12 new members of the United Nations Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT) for a term of four years.

Dr. June Pagaduan-Lopez was elected Thursday at the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland.

As member of the UN subcommittee, she will serve as expert in monitoring detention conditions in more than 60 countries worldwide.

“This will considerably strengthen the mandate of the SPT in torture prevention particularly in the field of mental health rehabilitation of torture survivors and their families,” Dr. Pagaduan-Lopez said.

Dr. Pagaduan-Lopez is a professor at the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines in Manila.

The Medical Action Group (MAG), whose founders include Dr. Pagaduan-Lopez, vouched for the Pinay doctor.

“For many years, Dr. Pagaduan-Lopez' capabilities and outstanding commitment in linking her profession as a psychiatrist to the promotion and defense of human rights particularly in rehabilitation of torture survivors, will enable her to make a valuable contribution to the work of the SPT and the prevention of torture in the country and worldwide,” MAG said in a press statement.

The Philippines became the 63rd State Party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) on April 17, 2012.

The SPT has a preventive mandate focused on an innovative, sustained and proactive approach to the prevention of torture and ill treatment.

The 11 other experts elected to the UN subcommittee were:

Hans-Jorg Victor Bannwart (Switzerland)
Malcolm Evans (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
Enrique Andrés Font (Argentina)
Lowell Patria Goddard (New Zealand)
Suzanne Jabbour (Lebanon)
Milos Jankovic (Serbia)
Paul Lam Shang Leen (Mauritius)
Víctor Madrigal-Borloz (Costa Rica)
Maria Margarida E. Pressburger (Brazil)
Christian Pross (Germany)
Victor Zaharia (Republic of Moldova)