Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Calls For Countries To Adopt Convention On Torture At 12th World Congress

Dr. Inge Genefke calls for countries to adopt the convention on torture. Dr. Genefke has devoted her career specifically to the treatment and rehabilitation of victims of torture. she is a great supporter of Defend International and DI members who have been subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

In 1982, Dr. Genefke founded the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT) in Copenhagen as an independent institution with its own premises.The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) was founded in 1985 to support the rehabilitation of torture victims and work to prevent torture worldwide.

Based in Denmark, the IRCT works in collaboration with 139 members, which include rehabilitation centers and programmes worldwide. The IRCT also works in partnership with governments, human rights organisations, health professional organisations, and intergovernmental organisations.




One of the world’s leading experts on torture issues has urged over 45 countries to ban the use of torture in their nations, by calling upon them to sign the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT).

Having worked in the field of international humanitarian action for nearly 40 years, Dr. Inge Genefke was speaking at the 12th World Congress on Pain in Glasgow to drive home the issues surrounding torture and its victims, and to continue her international campaign against it.

The Nobel Peace Prize nominee described torture as the worst of all traumas experienced by a person and has called for the remaining countries not only to adopt the Convention, but for those who have already ratified it to follow and implement its articles into law within their countries.

Since its conception in 1984, UNCAT has been ratified in over 140 nations, including the US, China, Russia, Israel and Turkey, ensuring those who inflict torture upon another human being are punished by national legal procedures. However there is evidence that torture is still performed in more than 100 countries worldwide, causing pain and suffering for many millions of people.

Dr. Inge Genefke commented: “It often goes unrecognized that torture is not something of the past but is in fact very much a part of our world today. It is carried out in more than 100 countries and is a tool used to break a human being down. It is the cruelest and yet most effective instrument of power in our world.

“I urge those countries who have not yet signed up to the UNCAT to do so, and I call on all ratifying countries to do as they preach – to implement the Convention effectively in their national legislation, and to follow it. Only this way will we work more efficiently to prevent the use of torture and the intolerable pain that it brings to its victims.

“The torture victim is the loneliest person in the world. Furthermore torture never solves problems, but instead creates hatred. For these reasons, I am extremely passionate about my fight against it, and trying to help those who have suffered pain at the hands of torture is simply the most rewarding work I can do.”

Dr. Genefke’s dedication to working for the victims of torture and securing help for them led her to found the Copenhagen-based Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (RCT) and the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT) in 1982 and 1985. Decades of research and experience from working with victims has led Dr. Genefke to understand that many victims of torture suffer not only from pain, but specifically from chronic pain. Victims suffer not only unbearable physical and psychological pain, but they also suffer trauma from the fact that torture cannot be escaped, and because it is being carried out by another human being.

This year, Dr. Genefke will receive the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) John Loeser Distinguished Lecture award as recognition for her fight against the use of torture across the world. IASP is a global organisation dedicated to highlighting and addressing the issue of chronic, acute, and cancer pain through advocacy, and by supporting research and developing programmes to improve the standard of pain relief worldwide.

IASP President Dr. Troels S. Jensen said: “Dr. Genefke has worked tirelessly to campaign against the use of torture and to help those who have fallen victim to both the mental and physical pain it can cause. It is because of her work that we are able to not only understand the true effect that torture has on people, but also that it remains widespread throughout the world today. This year, IASP is delighted to honour Dr. Genefke with the Special Prize for Lecturers at the 12th World Congress on Pain, and we wish her the very best of luck with her deserving Nobel Peace Prize nomination.”

The 12th World Congress on Pain is taking place at the Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre (SECC) from 18th to 22nd August. The Congress is a biennial event attracting more than 5,500. experts in the field of pain and pain management from more than 60 countries. The programme for this weeklong gathering will address more than 1,000 different areas, ranging from post traumatic stress and pain through to pain treatment in the developing world.

For more information on the Congress, pain issues, and the treatment of pain, please visit IASP’s website at


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