Thomas Hammarberg joins MDAC as Honorary President

© Terri Potoczna 2011 2 April 2012, Budapest. The Mental Disability Advocacy Center is delighted to announce that Thomas Hammarberg is the organisation’s Honorary President, effective today.

MDAC Board Chair, Felicity Callard, said:  

“We are thrilled and honoured that Thomas Hammarberg has joined MDAC. His inspirational leadership will fortify our work to transform the lives of people who have been abandoned by their families, marginalised by their politicians and too often ignored by the human rights community.”

Thomas Hammarberg served as the second Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, completing his six-year mandate last Friday. As Commissioner he sought to integrate the rights of people with disabilities into his mandate, as he did with other marginalised communities, including Roma, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, refugees, and children.

Commissioner Hammarberg produced several short papers on the rights of people with disabilities, including on people with intellectual disabilities, legal capacity, monitoring institutions, and political participation. Following a country visit to Bulgaria in 2009 – during which he participated in an MDAC roundtable – Commissioner Hammarberg wrote an extended section on the rights of children with disabilities in his resultant country report. In 2012 he published two extended papers, one on the right to legal capacity, and one on the right to live in the community.

Prior to his role as Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg held various senior human rights appointments including Secretary General of the Olof Palme International Center, Ambassador of the Swedish Government on Humanitarian Affairs, and Secretary General of Save the Children Sweden. He was Secretary General of Amnesty International in the early 1980s and received the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Amnesty in 1977. Click here for more information.


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