Juan Mendez: In the last 75 years we have seen some progress in the fight against torture, but we are far from the finish line

Rasmus in front of a computer screen with Juan Mendez
The former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Juan Mendez was interviewed by DIGNITY’s CEO, Rasmus Grue Christensen at our Live talk

In a live talk with human rights activist and professor Juan Mendez and DIGNITY’s CEO Rasmus Grue Christensen, the two discussed the status of the global fight against torture in the light of the upcoming 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations in 1948.

The former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Juan Mendez talks on how human rights and the fight against torture has evolved since the adaption of the declaration:

»We have seen advances and setbacks. Unfortunately, many setbacks regarding mass atrocities, torture, disappearances, and violations of international humanitarian law«.

On the advances, Juan Mendez says:

»In the case of torture, in the normative field, the international community now has a detailed and sophisticated framework to fight torture, which still is growing«.

He adds:

»The most effective way to fight torture is through mobilizing conscience and activism. Torture happens in a period in society when everything seems to have gone the wrong way with no hope. But men and women around the world retain hope. When mobilization starts having an effect – and it does – the international community begins to take notice and comes to the assistance of those minority groups that are fighting against the darkness of torture. Then things start to change. It is always important to believe that dark times don’t last forever. There will be a time for democracy, and justice will be served«.

Watch the full live talk below:

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