Validity Foundation - Mental Disability Advocacy Centre

Ann Campbell leaves Validity

By Steven Allen 15th August 2022


After more than eight years at Validity, Ann Campbell leaves the organisation on 15 August 2022. The Board and staff take this opportunity to thank her for all her work and dedication to Validity and our mission to enhance equality and justice for persons with disabilities.

During her time as Co-Executive Director, Ann has jointly overseen the growth and financial stability of Validity alongside Steven Allen, and has built and managed a team of exceptional advocates and lawyers.

As Litigation Director, Ann led the largest international docket of strategic disability-rights cases in the world, driving change through almost 100 cases since 2014, including its first ever cases in Africa, at the UN, and before the Court of Justice of the EU (on institutionalisation in Hungary and Bulgaria). In 2020, for example, Ann was instrumental in securing strong findings by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of gross and systemic rights violations by Hungary. The request for an inquiry she submitted led the Committee to condemn the Government’s actions but also brought the role of the EU in financing segregating institutions to widespread public attention.

Ann also spearheaded Validity’s anti-torture work, contributing to the development of a General Comment on the Right to Redress for Victims of Torture of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights; designed and delivered various in person and web-based training curricula on freedom from torture in Europe and Africa; and worked closely with colleagues to produce compelling documentation of State torture of persons with disabilities, for example, in the explosive report on the Topház social care institution in Hungary.

Ann drove much of Validity’s research, capacity-building and advocacy on access to justice, securing and directing regional EU co-funded projects concerning the rights of children and of victims of crime with disabilities.

Reflecting on her time at Validity, Ann said:

“It has been a humbling experience and a unique privilege to be a part of the crucial work carried out by so many excellent advocates, litigators, and people with disabilities in the field. I am proud of the exceptional team we have put together at Validity who, I have no doubt, will take the work forward with excellence and passion. I am deeply grateful for everyone who taught me what it means and what it takes to be of service to and in partnership with persons with disabilities, and who supported me to achieve in large part the vision I had for our team and work. In particular, I am deeply thankful to our dedicated Board of Trustees, our phenomenal partners around the world, and to the Validity staff – past and present – who have been my peers and friends over many years. I am most indebted to our clients who are my teachers, the drivers of change and who fuel my commitment to equality.”

The Board of Validity would like to take this opportunity to wish Ann well in her future endeavours.

Steven Allen has been appointed Executive Director as of 15 August 2022 to continue leading the organisation and our work to promote, protect and defend the human rights of persons with disabilities worldwide.

Victoria Macdonald
Chair, Validity