What happens with a human in detention, removed of their freedom and former identity? How is it that people who were among ‘us’ suddenly become ‘them’, as if they are something alien? And how do these terms prevent us from critically examining the issue of detention? Ilvija Pūce explores the dehumanization that occurs in closed institutions (prisons, mental institutions, migration camps, etc.) and why the fight for human rights and the prevention of torture and ill-treatment in these institutions is essential – not only for the individuals facing these conditions, but also society as a whole.

Ilvija Pūce is a lawyer and staunch human rights advocate with a focus on the prevention of torture and ill-treatment. With over twenty years of experience, she has worked at both national and international levels, building expertise on human rights law and systems. Her main focus is the situation in closed institutions.
She has participated in field missions assessing conditions of detainee treatment in many countries, including Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Malta, etc., and has shared her expertise with stakeholders in Kosovo, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Montenegro, Armenia etc. After serving for 12 years as a member of the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture, she has most recently been elected to the UN Committee against Torture.

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Posted by TEDxRiga