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Magdalena Szarota


Dr. Magda Szarota is a disability and human rights advocate, disability studies researcher, NGO executive and a photographer. She has lived and worked in Asia, Europe and the US, and is considered one of the pioneers of the disabled women’s movement in post-socialist Poland.

Magda co-authored the first shadow report to the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) Committee on the situation of Polish girls and women with disabilities, and successfully advocated on their behalf during the 20th session in Geneva in 2018. In 2019, she was awarded the prestigious Ambassador of the UN CRPD title, which was presented by the Polish Ombudsman, Professor Adam Bodnar for “educational, scholarly and activist initiatives aiming at the realization of the human rights and the UN CRPD.”

Magda is a Member of the Management Board of Humanity in Action Poland and a Steering Committee member of the Feminist Alliance for Rights run by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership/Rutgers University (US). She is a Founding Member of Artykuł 6 (a Polish feminist disability rights collective) and cooperates with Women Enabled International (US) and Sisters of Frida (UK). Magda is also a doctoral candidate at the Lancaster University and a recipient of numerous merit-based scholarships from e.g. Yale University, Kosciuszko Foundation and Ashoka: Innovators for the Public.


Humanity in Action is committed to providing an open, respectful, and safe environment for its Fellows, Senior Fellows, Program Interns, Staff, Board Members, speakers, partners, and others involved in its programs. Magda Szarota is our Ombudsperson, our designated point of contact to serve members of the Humanity in Action network, including the Fellows of this program, who experience abusive, racist, sexist, homophobic, or other forms of discriminatory behavior that emanate from other members of the network.

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Updated September 2021