Catalina Devandas Aguilar is an independent expert appointed by the United Nations. As Special Rapporteur, she works with the international community to realize the rights of persons with disabilities and promote their inclusion in development. Catalina works with governments and global institutions to make sure that their initiatives and efforts reach persons with disabilities themselves. Her vision is that disability is a part of human diversity.

Priority Areas

Annual reports

The rights of older persons with disabilities

2019-08-02

The world’s population is ageing. By 2050, people over the age of 60 are expected to account for 21 per cent of the global population. About half of them will live with a disability, making this the largest community of persons with disabilities—and one of the most stigmatized and neglected.

Deprivation of liberty of persons with disabilities

2019-02-05

The deprivation of liberty on the basis of disability is a human rights violation on a massive global scale. As this report illustrates, it is not a “necessary evil” but a consequence of the failure of States to ensure their obligations towards persons with disabilities.

The right to health

2018-09-07

The Special Rapporteur examines the challenges experienced by persons with disabilities in their interactions with health providers and services, and how those challenges hinder development at personal and societal levels.

Country visits

2019-05-08

Canada

Canada is a country of significant disparities in accessibility and access to education, health, justice, and social protection, depending on where in the country a person lives. The situation of indigenous persons with disabilities is of particular concern. But the country also counts with experiences like the inclusive education system in New Bronswick, which are a model for the rest of the world. 

2018-12-10

Kuwait

In its National Development Plan launched in 2017, the Kuwaiti government includes under the “human capital” pillar several projects for the inclusion of persons with disabilities. But a specific national strategy on disability is needed, to ensure that barriers against participation are lifted, and that a human rights-based approach to disability is adopted in all public policies.

2017-12-15

Kazakhstan

Steps to reform Kazakhstan’s social protection system and provide universal health coverage are a clear indication of the country's committment to the rights of persons with disabilities. But more efforts are required to include them in society, particularly in the areas of education and political participation. Legal capacity laws need to be reformed, and the country must move towards ending institutionalization and involuntary treatment.

Catalina Devandas Aguilar is the first UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Since 2014, she was appointed by the United Nations to help realize the rights of persons with disabilities. Her appointment acknowledged a lifelong commitment to the promotion of human rights, and her trajectory defending the rights of persons with disabilities.

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2019-10-31

Rethinking Power from a disability perspective at the TEDx Geneva

Rethinking Power from a disability perspective at the TEDx Geneva

Lessons learned about how the most difficult barriers are not those in buildings, streets or the physical environment, but those emanating from a system of social values that deem persons with disabilities as less worthy and unable to lead meaningful lives.

2019-09-12

UNDIS: the UN response to our demands for disability inclusion

UNDIS: the UN response to our demands for disability inclusion

The United Nations Disability Inclusion Strategy, or UNDIS embodies UN's vision for disability inclusion. It involves commitments at the highest levels of the Organization, and it is a very important step to mainstreaming disability inclusion across the UN system and its work around the world.

2019-06-13

UN Secretary General announces the UNDIS, a system-wide strategy for disability inclusion

UN Secretary General announces the UNDIS, a system-wide strategy for disability inclusion

In his opening remarks at the Conference of State Parties to the CRPD (CoSP12), the UN Secretary General offered an eloquent endorsement to the UN Disability Inclusion Strategy.

Working together

To improve the situation of persons with disabilities, we need to work together. The inclusion of persons with disabilities in human rights and development work can only come about through shared understanding and cooperation.

For inquiries related to the work of the Special Rapporteur, please contact sr.disability@ohchr.org

To communicate information regarding specific cases of violations of the rights of persons with disabilities, please go to the following section of the website of the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights:

spsubmission.ohchr.org

Office of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities:

Mailing Address:
150 route de Ferney, PO Box 2100
CH 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

How to submit information to the Special Rapporteur:

Mailing Address:
150 route de Ferney, PO Box 2100
CH 1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland

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