Visiting Fellow, April 2009 - January 2010
Carol Prendergast has been an advocate for human rights and humanitarian issues throughout her professional life. For the past ten years her work has focused on providing treatment and rehabilitative services for individuals who have been subjected to torture. During this time she has been managing director of three torture treatment programs: in the U.S.: the International Trauma Studies Program, the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, and the Program for Survivors of Torture at the International Institute of New Jersey. In the 1990's she provided advocacy and program development for human rights and humanitarian organizations including Amnesty International, Defence for Children International and the Seva Foundation. She began her career at the NAACP's Capital Punishment Project then practiced for several years as an appellate attorney in the criminal defense firm of Lavin and Batchelder. Ms. Prendergast has served as a member of numerous advisory committees, working groups and Boards of NGOs. From 2000-2005 she served as New York State Chair of Common Cause, a non-profit organization that works to promote more ethical, accountable and transparent government. She received her J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Treatment and rehabilitation for survivors of torture is generally regarded as a humanitarian intervention. Ms. Prendergast is interested in placing the issue of torture treatment in a broader context by examining the ways in which providing treatment not only ameliorates the suffering of victims but enhances the political and social health of the larger society. Her work at the Centre will explore the impact of the torture treatment movement on the promotion of human rights, public health, and civil society.