Gabor Petri

Gabor Petri was born in 1977 in Debrecen, Hungary. He has almost 15 years of experience in human rights and disability, at both national and EU level.

Prior to joining the EDF Board, he worked as a personal assistant for people with cerebral palsy (1999-2002), and as a fundraiser and development consultant for civil and government-related organisations in the disability field in Hungary (2002-2008), working on capacity-building of grassroots NGOs as well as on employment, rehabilitation, education, social services and human rights-related issues. From 2003 to 2006, he was responsible for developing policies and legislation in the youth and the disability field as officer at the Hungarian Ministry of Social Affairs. In 2007, he was commissioned by the Managing Authority of EU Structural Funds to work on disability-related development projects. He also served as the director of the national umbrella the Hungarian Autistic Society, where he was instrumental to the landmark approval of the Autism Strategy (the second of its kind in Europe) by the Hungarian government in 2008, and for producing the national shadow report on the UN CRPD in 2010. His experiences include working with organisations of blind people, persons with intellectual and physical disabilities and people with severe and multiple disabilities.

Gabor has also been active in a number of civil society organisations, taking up board membership and volunteering opportunities: Disability Rights Advocates Hungary (Board member 2002-2004); Uganda School for the Deaf , deaf-blind unit (volunteer, 2005); Art-Man Dance Therapy Association Hungary (founder and Board of Trustees, 2007- ); Hungarian Autistic Society (member, 2010- ). His publications include research and advocacy papers in Hungarian and English, translations, while he also co-edited two short documentaries on the right to live in the community (co-produced by Mental Health Europe, 2012).

He has been working with Mental Health Europe since 2011, leading the consolidation of the first European report on deinstitutionalisation in the mental health field "Mapping Exclusion" and contributing to the Common [European Guidelines on the Transition from Institutional to Community Based Care. He is also actively engaging in advocacy towards the European level authorities and partnership-building at national level. Gabor’s educational background includes an MA in Hungarian Literature and Linguistics and a certificate on Mental Disability Law from Central European University.

Since May 2013, Gabor is a member of EDF Board of directors.