Gábor Gombos was an outstanding advocate of the Hungarian and international disability movement and a survivor of psychiatry. He was a world-renowned independent disability rights defender.

He co-founded the Hungarian Mental Health Interest Forum in 1999 to incubate and network organisations of users of psychiatry, advocacy groups and support groups for users of psychiatry aiming to mobilise those concerned to become active agents of social change. He chaired the European Network of (ex-)Users and Survivors of Psychiatry and co-chaired the World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry.

He was been extensively consulted on the rights of persons with disabilities by the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the Council of Europe.

He was appointed adjunct professor at NALSAR Law University in Hyderabad, India, in August 2012 and at the NUI Galway Centre for Disability Law and Policy in March 2013.

Until the end of 2012, Gábor Gombos served as a Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

Curriculum Vitae
Gábor Gombos

Personal data
Name and first nameGábor Gombos
Birth and death08.08.1961., Pécs, Hungary - 05.06.2022. (age 61), Budapest, Hungary
2013-2018Adjunct professor at the NUI Galway, Centre for Disability Law and Policy
2012-2022Adjunct Professor, National Academy for Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR), Hyderabad, India
Starting from 2012Member of the Advisory Board of the Franklin D. Roosevelt International Disability Rights Award
2011-2012Member of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
2009-2015Editor of Fogyatékosság és Társadalom, Hungarian Journal of Disability Studies & Special Education
2009-2013Co-Chair, World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, Odense, Denmark
2004-2011Senior Advocacy Officer, Mental Disability Advocacy Center, Budapest
2004-2010Deputy Chair, European Network of (ex-)Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, Berlin
Main professional activities
2012 AugustVisiting University Grants Commission Fellow, Tata Institute for Social Science, Mumbai, India
2012Expert consultant in the Training for Trainers (ToTAL) on the CRPD by the International Disability Alliance, New Delhi, India
2011-2012UNDP Consultant in the Republic of Moldova in the field of legal reforms regarding legal capacity
2011-2012Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Geneva
2009-2010Co-Chair, World Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, Odense, Denmark
2009-2010Facilitator of the Hungarian Disability Caucus Alternative Country Report on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Budapest
2008Six months program in India to catalyse disability self-advocacy and promote the implementation of CRPD in India
2007-2009Civil society expert negotiator at the Ministry of Justice consultations on the new Civil Code of Hungary, Budapest
2006-2009Co-facilitator of a civil society coalition working on the new legal capacity legislation and implementation of CRPD article 12, Budapest
2004-2005Temporary advisor, WHO European Regional Office, participation in drafting the WHO European Ministerial Declaration and Action Plan on Mental Health, Copenhagen
2004Member of the drafting group of the Ministerial Decree on the prohibition of the use of caged beds in psychiatric facilities
2003-2006Representative of the International Disability Caucus at the UN Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)
2000-2006Member of the Human Rights Standing Committee of the European Disability Forum, Brussels
2000-2003Member of a fact-finding mission by the Mental Disability Rights International (Washington DC) in Kosovo
1999-2005Chair, Hungarian Mental Health Interest Forum (co-chair with Zsolt Szőke from 24 January 2003 to 11 June 2004)
1996-2000Chair, Voice of Soul Self-Advocacy Association of Persons with Psychosocial Disability
1992-1995Vice Chair, Family Association for Persons Living with Mental Illness
Educational background
1996Accredited course on dyscalculia at the Eötvös Loránd University, Bárczi Gusztáv College on Special Education, Budapest
1986MSc in Physics, Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Sciences, Budapest
Other main activities
2012Chair, Working Group of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on a General Comment on Article 12
2011Mentor, General Congress and Assembly by the Pan African Network of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry, Cape Town, South Africa
2010 and 2011Member of Faculty, Mental Disability Law in Practice, Summer University, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
2010Research on institutionalization/deinstitutionalization of persons with disabilities in Hungary
2009Co-organization of the World Congress of Users and Survivors of Psychiatry (member of the International Disability Alliance), Kampala, Uganda
2009-2017Member of the Board of Directors of the Hungarian Soteria Foundation (for persons with psychosocial disability), Budapest
Starting from 2008Research on the negotiation history of the CRPD
2005-2007Research on the human rights of children and adolescents in special children homes in Hungary
2003-2005Guest lecturer at the Central European University (Course on mental disability law and advocacy)
2001-2003Research on the human rights in child mental health services in Hungary
2001-2022Fellow of the Ashoka: Innovators for the Public
2000-2022Human rights defender in the human rights educational and awareness-raising project “Speak Truth to Power”
1999-2001Research on the human rights in long term mental health social care institutions in Hungary
2009Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary
2001Fellow of Ashoka Innovators for Public

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