Someone asked me what exactly I am doing in Geneva.
So, in case you are wondering, I am at the 47th session of the UN Committee against Torture (CAT). This committee monitors all countries that have signed the Convention Against Torture, which is most countries… EVEN the U.S. (a country that does not participate in many treaties or international bodies.)
Countries must report to the CAT every 5 years about torture (and inhumane, cruel and degrading treatment, which is also part of the Convention) and the Committee members ask them questions in a public hearing in Geneva.
Our job as students is to do research on these countries and help our Dean (who is the Chair of the Committee) formulate the questions he will ask to the countries. For example. I did research on Paraguay and Sri Lanka.
As part of this project, we get to come to Geneva with the Dean and attend the session for a week.
This is why instead of UNCAT we call the project… FUNCAT!
It’s hard to get fun photos of meetings, but here I am with my friends Mina & Ann at the session:
Here is the packed room for the session with Morocco. There were tons of people from NGOs.
And, the most FUN food of all…
Dean Grossman is on the right caught with a bite of delicious fondue: