IRCT Executive Committee

Jorge Aroche

Jorge Aroche

President

Jorge Aroche is a clinical psychologist and the Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS). Jorge joined STARTTS in early 1989 and has been the centre's Chief Executive Officer since 1997. STARTTS has assisted more than 50,000 individual clients from over 70 countries since 1988, and is widely recognised as a world leader in the field of refugee trauma recovery. Jorge is a co-convenor of the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma, and has held the positions of Secretary-General of the International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR), and Vice-President of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). Jorge has presented widely on clinical and settlement issues for traumatised refugees on national and international platforms and has been an active contributor on refereed journals and other publications on this topic. He was elected President at the IRCT General Assembly in Mexico City in December 2016.

Sana Hamzeh

Sana Hamzeh

Vice-President

Sana Hamzeh is a psychologist and Head of the Rehabilitation Department at Restart Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture (Restart) in Lebanon. Ms Hamzeh was elected Vice-President at the IRCT General Assembly in Mexico City in December 2016.

Pradeep Agrawal

Pradeep Agrawal

Executive Committee Member

Dr Pradeep Agrawal has been working on the rehabilitation of torture victims for almost 20 years. He is the Founder and Director of the Shubhodaya Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and Violence (SOSRAC) in Delhi, India. He is also the President of the Society for Social Research, Art and Culture. He has prepared guidelines for the National Training Programme for Health Professionals and Staff; as well as organising advocacy activities to raise awareness of torture among the general public. Dr Pradeep Agrawal has various qualifications in psychiatry and is a Life Fellow of the Indian Psychiatric Society. He has worked in several countries including as a Senior Clinical Lecturer in the Department Of Psychiatry, at Bristol University in the UK. In 2004, he published a Manual for Health Professionals Dealing with Torture Victims (Patparganj, India), and his research work includes a detailed analysis of psychiatric sequelae of torture among refugees in Delhi and a study of torture and domestic violence among females living in urban slums of Delhi.

Kathi Anderson

Kathi Anderson

Executive Committee Member

Kathi Anderson serves as an elected member of the IRCT’s Executive Committee. In 1997, Kathi co-founded Survivors of Torture, International (SURVIVORS) located in San Diego, California, USA. SURVIVORS’ mission is to facilitate the healing of torture survivors and their families, educate professionals and the public about torture and its consequences and advocate of the abolition of torture. She served as SURVIVORS’ first board chair before becoming its executive director. She is also a co-founder of the U.S.-based National Consortium of Torture Treatment Programs. She has extensive experience in health care, human rights, refugee resettlement and higher education. She received from San Jose State University her M.A. in Counseling and from the University of the Pacific her B.A. in International Relations. Kathi is the recipient of many awards, most recently from American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties, American Bar Association Immigration Justice Project and the United Nations Association, San Diego.

Mariana Lagos

Mariana Lagos

Executive Committee Member

Mariana Lagos is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist, specialised in clinical and psychosocial assistance for the rehabilitation of torture victims, migrants in critical situations, victims of human trafficking and other forms of ill treatment. She is an active member of the Argentine Team of Psychosocial Work and Research (EATIP) and has over 25 years of experience working within the clinical aspect of torture rehabilitation. Her experience also includes providing assistance to Holocaust survivors and teaching at the University of Buenos Aires. Presently, Mariana is the President of the Mental Health, Human Rights and Social Emergencies Chapter of the Argentinean Association of Psychiatrists, Regional coordinator of the Mental Health, Human Rights and Torture Section of the Latin American Association of Psychiatrists, and a member of the corresponding section of the World Psychiatric. She was elected to the Executive Committee at the IRCT General Assembly in December 2016, representing the Latin American Region.

Samuel Herbert Nsubuga

Samuel Herbert Nsubuga

Executive Committee Member

Samuel Herbert Nsubuga is the Chief Executive Officer of Ugandan member centre, African Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV). Mr Nsubuga was elected to the Executive Committee at the IRCT General Assembly in Mexico City in December 2016.

Lela Tsiskarishvili

Lela Tsiskarishvili

Executive Committee Member

Lela Tsiskarishvili is the Executive Director of Georgian Center for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT). Ms Tsiskarishvili was elected to the Executive Committee at the IRCT General Assembly in Mexico City in December 2016.

Michael Brune

Michael Brune

Independent Expert

Michael Brune has more than 25 years’ experience as a psychotherapist and a psychiatrist, working mainly with refugees and victims of torture. He also has several years of experience training and consulting rehabilitation centres within a variety conflict zones.

IRCT Council

IRCT Council

(elected in 2016 for the period 2016-2019)

Asia

  • Pradeep Agrawal, India
  • Debabrata Roy Laifungbam, India
  • Shailendra Guragain, Nepal
  • Edeliza Hernandez, Philippines

Europe

  • Kristina Gevorkyan, Armenia
  • Lilla Hardi, Hungary
  • Lela Tsiskarishvili, Georgia
  • Bianca Schmolze, Germany
  • Metin Bakkalci, Turkey
  • Aida Alayarian, UK
  • Sara Fridlund, Sweden

Latin America

  • Mariana Lagos, Argentina
  • Andrés Gautier, Bolivia
  • Dora Lancheros, Colombia
  • Juana Lloret, Peru

Middle East and North Africa

  • Sana Hamzeh, Lebanon
  • Mohamad Safa, Lebanon
  • Khader Rasras, Palestine

North America

  • Mulugeta Abai, Canada
  • Kathi Anderson, US

Pacific

  • Jorge Aroche, Australia
  • Bernadette McGrath, Australia

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Charbonnel Nodjigoto, Chad
  • Peter Kum Che Mebeng, Cameroon
  • Jarwlee Tweh Geegbe, Liberia
  • Samuel Herbert Nsubuga, Uganda

Independent Experts

  • Michael Brune, Germany
  • Peter Ebigbo, Nigeria
  • Mihiri Ferdinando, Sri Lanka

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