By Rio Rose Ribaya | Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom
A Filipino doctor is among the 12 new members of a committee in the United Nations (UN) in Geneva, Switzerland, a local group disclosed on Friday.
Dr. June Pagaduan Lopez, founder of Medical Action Group (MAG), was elected as a member of UN Anti-Torture Committee’s Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (SPT).
In a statement, MAG congratulated Lopez for bringing Pinoy honor, by serving as one of the experts who will monitor detention conditions in more than 60 countries around the world until 2016.
“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,” the group said.
The SPT has a preventive mandate focused on an innovative, sustained and proactive approach to the prevention of torture and ill treatment.
Lopez was elected during the fourth meeting of Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT) on Thursday.
She will be working with other experts from Switzerland, United Kingdom, Argentina, New Zealand, Lebanon, Serbia, Mauritius, Costa Rica, Brazil, Germany and Republic of Moldova.
A professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Manila, Lopez exemplified “outstanding commitment” to the promotion and defense of human rights, MAG said.
She has been using her expertise in psychiatry for the rehabilitation of torture survivors for many years, the group noted.
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) in April.