We are delighted to announce that from the 1st September 2017, Sue Berelowitz has taken over as Chair of Freedom from Torture. Sue has been a Trustee of Freedom from Torture since October 2016 and was previously Chair of the Clinical & Legal Governance Committee.
Sue is a Visiting Professor and member of the Advisory Board at Huddersfield University Secure Societies Institute. Sue was Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England and Chief Executive of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner from 2008-2015 and in that role chaired a groundbreaking national inquiry into the sexual exploitation of children.
Sue was made a Visiting Professor in the Institute for Applied Social Research at Bedfordshire University from 2012-2017 in recognition of this work. She is a founder and chair of the Hans Albrecht Foundation, dedicated to promoting children’s human rights and a member of the ESRC Impact Acceleration Steering Committee at Sussex University.
Sue has had a long career in local government children’s services and was Deputy Director of Children’s Services for West Sussex County Council before becoming Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England. Sue has sat on numerous boards including as Chair of the Children and Young People’s sub-group of the UK National Preventative Mechanism for the Prevention of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment; the National Strategic Coordinating Group, Operation Hydrant (police investigations into historic child sexual abuse); independent advisor to the Crown Prosecution Service/ ACPO National Child Sexual Abuse Review Panel and the Ministerial Advisory Board on Deaths in Custody. Her particular areas of interest and expertise are children’s human rights, child protection, children’s mental health and children in the criminal justice system.
Sue is a nationally recognised expert on child sexual abuse.
Sue has a Masters in Social Work from Sussex University and is a Speech and Language Therapist. She was born in Durban, South Africa and immigrated to the UK in 1974 because of her abhorrence of the apartheid regime.
"I would like to thank Francesca Klug for her great contribution to Freedom from Torture during her time as Chair and I am looking forward to building on her legacy. I am delighted and honoured to become Chair of a charity which provides such important support for survivors of torture and I look forward to working with the Chief Executive as we lead the organization to even greater strength. I extend a hearty thanks to Peter Atfield and Melanie Essex for stepping in as Acting Co-Chairs over the past few months."
Chief Executive Susan Munroe says:
"I am pleased to welcome Sue Berelowitz as the new Chair of Freedom from Torture. Sue brings a great breadth and depth of experience and I am very much looking forward to working closely with her as together we lead the organisation through its next phase of development."