National Association for Rights Protection and Advocacy

Sofía Galván Puente, J.D.

Sofía Galván Puente currently serves as Human Rights Specialist at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and focuses on disability rights. She is a Mexican lawyer who earned her law degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), and pursued an LL.M., magna cum laude, in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame – Law School.


Ms. Galván has served as Director for Mexico and Central America at Disability Rights International (DRI). She played a key role in helping activists in Mexico set up the Colectivo Chuhcan, the first advocacy organization in Mexico run by people with psychosocial disabilities. Ms. Galván is an investigator and co-author of DRI’s recent report Abandoned & Disappeared: Mexico’s Segregation and Abuse of Children and Adults with Disabilities. On behalf of DRI, Ms. Galván has spoken out on numerous occasions in the Mexican and international media. She has reached out to other disability rights and human rights organizations to sensitize them to the human rights concerns of children and adults with disabilities who are detained in orphanages, psychiatric facilities, and other institutions.

For four years Ms. Galván was the Director of Disability Rights International for Mexico & Central America, an international organization dedicated to promoting the human rights and full participation in society of people with disabilities worldwide. Prior to that she worked at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as Visiting Professional and at the IACHR as a “Rómulo Gallegos” Fellow. She was also a Notre Dame Fellow at the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, and collaborated in the Organization of American States’ Electoral Observation Mission in Guatemala as an International Observer.

Likewise, she has worked on issues of disability issues and international human rights law in various settings such as government agencies, human rights commissions, universities, legal offices and NGOs. In addition, she has been involved in academic responsibilities such as writing legal publications national and internationally, giving lectures in the Americas and Europe, and teaching.

In 2011, Ms Galván received Mexico's National Youth Award  for Human Rights. The award, which is Mexico's highest public honor, recognizes Mexican youth “whose career trajectory, commitment, or study brings honor to their generation and inspires individual or community progress.” Mexican President Felipe Calderon personally presente Ms. Galván with the award.