Thomas Hammarberg

Thomas Hammarberg (born 2 January 1942 in Örnsköldsvik , Sweden ) is a Swedish diplomat and human rights defender .

He held the post of Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights in Strasbourg from 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2012. He succeeded the first Commissioner, Álvaro Gil-Robles .

Human rights

Prior to his appointment, Hammarberg had spent several decades working on the advancement of human rights in Europe and worldwide. He had been Secretary General of the Stockholm-based Olof Palme International Center (2002-05), Ambassador of the Swedish Government on Humanitarian Affairs (1994-2002), Secretary General of the NGO “ Save the Children Sweden“ (1986-92 ), and Secretary General of Amnesty International (1980-86). He received on behalf of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977.

Between 2001-03, Hammarberg acted as Regional Adviser for Europe , Central Asia and the Caucasus for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights . For several years, he was the Swedish Prime Minister’s Personal Representative for the UN Special Session on Children, and the Convener of the Aspen Institute Roundtables on „Human Rights in Peace Missions“. Between 1996 and 2000, he was the appointed representative of the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan , for human rights in Cambodia . He also participated in the work of the Refugee Working Group of the Middle East Peace Process.

On March 9, 2012 Thomas Hammarberg received the Amnesty International as a reward for his impressive track record in human rights. The Amnesty is organized by Amnesty International Flanders and the University of Ghent , Belgium.

As Commissioner, Council of Europe, member states, in accordance with his mandate. [1]

On stepping down as Commissioner, he joined the NGO Mental Disability Advocacy Center and its Honorary President. [2]

Roma rights

Thomas Hammarberg is dedicated to strengthening Sinto and Roma rights [3] in Europe, which he believes are „shamefully flawed“. In a number of speeches and statements, Hammarberg actively seeks to improve living conditions for the largest minority in Europe and criticizes the levels of racism directed at these people. Hammarberg paints a clear picture of the situation; for example, in his report on the Italian authorities.

In 2010, Hammarberg published a comprehensive position paper on the human rights situation in Sinti and Roma, in which he stressed the need for a comprehensive program to improve the situation, warning that „today’s rhetoric against the Roma is alarmingly similar to that. used by the Nazis before the mass killings started „.

On 27 February 2012, he published a comprehensive report on the situation of Roma and travelers in Europe, [4] stressing that in many European countries they are still denied basic human rights and blatant racism.

Chancellor Angela Merkel dating back to 2009, Hammarberg calls for deportations to Kosovo in particular, saying that they are exposed to political persecution and forced to live in camps. He repeated this „urgent recommendation“ one year later in a letter to the then German Federal Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Mazière. A special committee organized by Hammarberg described in Roma camp in Kosovo as „a humanitarian disaster“. The Human Rights Commissioner also strongly criticized France’s mass deportation of Roma in 2010.

For his resilience and passion in the field of Roma rights, Thomas Hammarberg has been honored by the Documentation and Cultural Center and the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma and the Manfred Lautenschlaeger Foundation with the European Civil Rights Prize of the Sinti and Roma in Berlin on April 3, 2012.


Hammarberg HAS Widely published it various human rights issues, and PARTICULARLY on the rights of the child , refugee policy , minority issues , xénophobie , Islamophobia , Roma rights, LGBT rights in Europe [5] as well as international affairs and security . He is well known for his presentations and readings on human rights at various intergovernmental and academic institutions. The Commissioner has published a series of „Viewpoint“ articles on human rights issues in Europe on the institution’s website. [6]He regularly publishes comments on human rights issues. [7]

Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Hammarberg, member states.


  1. Jump up^ [1] ArchivedJuly 9, 2010, at theWayback Machine.
  2. Jump up^ „Thomas Hammarberg joins MDAC as Honorary President“ . Mental Disability Advocacy Center . 2 April 2012.
  3. Jump up^ [2] ArchivedJanuary 17, 2012, at theWayback Machine.
  4. Jump up^ „Human Rights of Roma and Travelers in Europe“ (PDF) . . Retrieved 4 November 2014 .
  5. Jump up^ „Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe“ (PDF) . . Retrieved 4 November 2014 .
  6. Jump up^ [3] ArchivedAugust 21, 2006, at theWayback Machine.
  7. Jump up^ „Government leaders distort justice when they interfere in individual short cases“ . Archived from the original on 16 January 2014 . Retrieved 4 November 2014 .