Thomas Hammarberg has spent most of his professional life working to strengthen human rights in the world.
He held the post of Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights in Strasbourg from 1 April 2006 to 31 March 2012.
Prior to this, he was Secretary General of the Stockholm-based Olof Palme International Center (2002–05), Ambassador of the Swedish Government on Humanitarian Affairs (1994–2002), the Secretary General of the NGO “Save the Children Sweden” (1986–92), and Secretary General of Amnesty International (1980–86). He received on behalf of Amnesty International the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977.
Some of his other assignments have been as Regional Adviser for Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights between 2001and 2003. For several years, he was the Swedish Prime Minister’s Personal Representative for the UN Special Session on Children, as well as 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 multilateral Middle East Peace Process.
Presently, he is EU Special Adviser on Constitutional and Legal Reform and Human Rights in Georgia and UN Senior Expert on Human Rights in Transnisstria. He is also a Honorary Chair of the non-governmental Mental Disability Advocacy Center.