Torture: Nigerian activist, Uju Agomoh elected into UN Committee membership
Uju Agomoh, Founder and Executive Director of Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), has been elected a member of the United Nations Sub Committee on Prevention of Torture (UN SPT). The election took place on 20th October 2022 in Geneva
UN SPT is the international body established by the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), consisting of 25 independent experts. It has a preventive mandate focused on a proactive approach to preventing torture and ill-treatment.
PRAWA is a Nigerian civil society organization that promotes human rights for people in prison and helps those who’ve survived prison to successfully integrate into the community.
Agomoh holds degrees in Law, Criminology, and Psychology which makes her strongly positioned to contribute to the work of the SPT through a holistic and multidisciplinary approach.
Over the past 20 years, she has held key positions in global, regional, and national institutions working to prevent torture through detention monitoring, security sector reform, and support to survivors of torture. These include serving on the Executive Committee of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT); the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) Global SOS-Torture Covid 19 Crisis Action Group; and the Independent Investigation Panel of Inquiry on the Nigeria Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Agomoh has personally carried out over 1000 prison monitoring visits covering about 150 prisons in 32 countries. She has national and international experience in torture prevention.
She was a Member – of the Independent Investigation Panel of Inquiry on Nigeria Police Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) alleged human rights violation (2020 – 2022), a Ca council Member of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission, and the Special Rapporteur on Police, Prisons and Centers of Detention (2001 – 2008), Co-Chair- Development Law Group (DLG) of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Section on Public Interest and Development Law (2021 – 2023), Co-lead in the development of the harmonized curriculum for security agencies training institutions in Nigeria including on Human Rights, Rule of Law, and Civil-Military Relations, and Led the development of National Legal Aid Strategy of Nigeria 2016-2022.
She has also conducted visits to places of detention in more than 32 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.