Welcome Professor Gerard Quinn, the new UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.

Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar’s term as UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities came to an end on 31 August 2020.

Professor Gerard Quinn has been appointment the new UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.

What this means for our movement.

The role of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities is very important for creating systemic change. This means they have the power to change the way governments run.

Special rapporteurs usually serve for 3 years but this can be extended for another 3 years making it 6 years in total. This means that it is very important to the future of our movement to have someone in this role who wants to create a world where people with intellectual disabilities and their families can equally participate and be valued in all aspects of community life.

We are pleased with this choice because Professor Quinn understands and supports our network. We trust he will work hard to support our work and progress our rights.

Who is Gerard Quinn

Gerard Quinn is Professor Emeritus in law at the National University of Ireland (Galway).

He is also currently a professor of law at the University of Leeds and at the Wallenberg Institute in the University of Lund, Sweden.

He also sits on the scientific committee (advisory board) of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (EU FRA, Vienna).

He has a lot of experience in international disability rights. You can read more about his previous work experience here.

What does he aim to do in his new role?

Professor Quinn said that he will work to ensure that the voices of persons with disabilities are heard in global responses to Covid-19, climate change and wars.

He highlighted the need to make big changes to support the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

He wants to focus attention on the cultural and structural changes needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.