Inauguration of Centre Jean-Jacques Gautier

Friday, September 21, 2012

The 21 September 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of APT’s founder Jean-Jacques Gautier (1912-1986), a banker and philanthropist from Geneva. His visionary idea of a system to prevent torture and ill-treatment in all places of detention has had a profound impact on the global fight against torture.


Speaking at the inauguration of the new Centre Jean-Jacques Gautier, APT’s headquarters in Geneva, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, thanked the APT for its “unwavering support” in the fight to prevent and eradicate torture.

“Jean-Jacques Gautier was, and his legacy remains, a leading light in the global fight to relegate torture to history, where it belongs”, the High Commissioner said in her address.

She reminded guests of the instrumental role played by the APT in conceiving and drafting key regional and international torture prevention treaties, including the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture, adopted 10 years ago. The High Commissioner also pointed to the unique cooperation that, over the years, has developed between her Office and the APT.

“The legacy of Mr. Gautier lives on in all of us who believe that human dignity is worth fighting for. It is fitting that this building bearing his name has been built to stand the test of time“, she said.

Pierre Maudet, Geneva State Councillor in charge of the Department of Security concluded the official ceremony with these words: “Humanity is a promise. Thanks to the APT for making this promise credible”.

The inauguration of Centre Jean-Jacques Gautier took place in the presence of more than a hundred guests. The ribbon was cut by Madame Catherine Gautier, widow of APT’s founder.

Full speech of the High Commissioner for Human Rights













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Photo: Helen Putsman Penet