APT appoints new Secretary General

Friday, April 27, 2018

At its last meeting of 12 April, the Board of the Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT) appointed Barbara Bernath as APT’s new Secretary General, as of 1 July 2018.

“Barbara Bernath is the right person to implement APT’s Strategic Plan and pursue the Agenda for Change adopted by the Board. She is aware of the new challenges regarding the prevention of torture and will know which measures to take in the future to address them, taking into consideration the expectations from our partners in the field,” stated APT President, Martine Brunschwig Graf.

Ms. Bernath has extensive experience in torture prevention with the APT over the last twenty years, including as Chief of Operations since 2009. She has worked in all regions of the world and is very much appreciated by the broad variety of governmental and non-governmental partners of the APT.

“With our competent and committed team as well as the support of the Board, I’m very much looking forward to further mobilising States and partners around prevention,” said Barbara Bernath. “We must propose concrete steps that can address the root causes of torture and ill-treatment, facilitate dialogue among all actors and accompany them in their national efforts towards societies free of torture.”

A Swiss/French national, Barbara Bernath holds a Master's Degree in international law from the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID). Before joining the APT, she worked as a Delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross and held several posts in the human rights field including with the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. She speaks French, English, Spanish and German.

“This is the best choice for the APT and its partners to continue their ground-breaking work in improving everywhere the way in which people are treated in detention,” added the outgoing Secretary General, Mark Thomson.

Staff members