UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez Honored with CVT Eclipse Award | Center for Victims of Torture

UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan Méndez Honored with CVT Eclipse Award

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. —The Center for Victims of Torture™ (CVT), an international NGO dedicated to healing survivors of torture and eradicating torture worldwide, is today presenting its annual Eclipse Award to Juan Méndez in recognition of his unwavering, lifelong devotion to the preservation of human rights, the prevention of torture and the rehabilitation of survivors. The award is presented each year to an individual or organization that has played a crucial role in ending torture or in the treatment of torture survivors.

Méndez, who in 2010 was appointed UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, has made a lasting impact on the lives of thousands of persons deprived of their rights and their liberty. He himself was tortured and subjected to administrative detention as a result of his work as a human rights lawyer representing political prisoners during the military dictatorship in his native Argentina.

But far from allowing that harrowing experience to silence him, he instead became an impassioned leader and globally-respected advocate for change, ever mindful of keeping survivors at the center of his work. His work has been pivotal in altering public and State opinion on solitary confinement and its devastating effects on individuals.

A beloved educator, Méndez is a Professor of Human Rights Law in Residence at American University’s Washington College of Law and the author (with Marjory Wentworth) of “Taking a Stand: The Evolution of Human Rights.” In 2009 and 2010, he was the Special Advisor on Prevention to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. He was Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association, and has served in several prominent human rights roles, including at Human Rights Watch and the International Center for Transitional Justice.  

“In presenting him with this year’s Eclipse Award, CVT commends Juan Méndez for his global leadership at the UN and his lifetime of work to prevent torture and advocate for survivors,” said Curt Goering, CVT’s executive director. “As a torture survivor and tireless, lifelong campaigner for human rights himself, there is not a more powerful or more credible voice in the campaign to end torture worldwide and heal its wounds.”   

CVT presents the Eclipse Award each year on or around June 26, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. On June 26, 1987, the United Nations Convention against Torture and Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment went into effect. Events are held around the world honoring and celebrating this day.

Méndez will receive the Eclipse Award in Washington, D.C., at a reception held to honor his work to abolish torture.


The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East.

Visit www.cvt.org

Jenni Bowring-McDonough

Media Relations Manager

jbowring [at] cvt.org

Media Contact

Jenni Bowring-McDonough
Media Relations Manager
+1 612-436-4886 (office) or +1 651-226-3858 (mobile)
Journalists:  If you’d like to receive CVT press releases, please email your request to Jenni Bowring-McDonough at jbowring [at] cvt.org.




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