Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities

3 April 2012 Please find the updated program here.

Workshop of the EUI Human Rights Working Group and the Academy of European Law Friday April 27, 2012

""Background: The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), in force since 2008, is novel in many ways. It adopts a new model considering persons with disabilities as full subjects of the law with clearly defined human rights, thus substituting the previous medical paradigm, as well as the social development model and the model based on non-discrimination principles. It incorporates elements of such understandings yet moves beyond them in the creation of a more comprehensive and integral framework. Because the treaty views disability as a result of the interaction between an inaccessible environment and a person, rather than an inherent attribute of an individual, it considers persons with disabilities as right holders capable of exercising such rights in an independent manner on the basis of equal citizenship. Also, the UNCRPD is, so far, the first and only core international human rights treaty to which the European Union (EU) is a party, and the first human rights treaty which the European Community, as it then was, was involved in negotiating and signing, alongside its Member States. From its very conception and negotiation, it adopted an “experimentalist character”, prioritizing actors such as Non-Governmental Organizations and National Human Right Institutions, and also envisioning them as necessary and helpful partners in the implementation of the Convention. This opens a space for timely and innovative discussions to which the EUI wishes to contribute constructively.

Concept: This workshop seeks to provide a discursive environment between experts and the EUI research and faculty community on the standards, aspirations and implementation of the UNCRPD. It also aims at exploring its role within domestic legislations and jurisdictions, from developed to developing countries, as well as the challenges it poses for different actors in International Law, in particular, the EU, and ultimately, its relevance and potentials for the persons with disabilities throughout the world. Speakers are asked to reflect on these issues in their presentations, which should last for no more than 20 minutes, and to make available in advance, one brief document that will complement their presentation.

Readings: Arnardóttir, Oddný Mjöll and Gerard Quinn (eds.), The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: European and Scandinavian perspectives, International Studies in Human Rights, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers/Brill Academic, 2009.

Courtis, Christian, “The right to life and the right to health of children with disabilities before courts: some Latin American examples”, in: Clements, L. and Read, J. (eds), Disabled people and the right to life: the protection and violation of disabled people’s most basic human rights, London: Routledge, 2008.

De Búrca, Gráinne, The EU in the negotiation of the UN Disability Convention, European Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 2, 2010; Fordham Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1525611. Electronic copy available at:

Kumpuvuori, Jukka and Martin Scheinin (eds.), United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: multidisciplinary perspectives, The Center for Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Finland (VIKE), Publications Series of VIKE No.5, 2010.

Melish, Tara, “The UN Disability Convention: Historic Process, Strong Prospects, and Why the U.S. Should Ratify”, 14 Hum. Rts. Brief. 37, 2007.

To register please reply by email to:


 09:30 – 09:45 Welcome by the Human Rights Working Group and introductions: Cornelius Wiesener, EUI Researcher and Coordinator of the HRWG

09:45 – 11:30 Overview of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD)

Chair: Dorothy Estrada-Tanck, EUI Researcher and Member of the Human Rights Working Group

  • History of the negotiation of the UNCRPD, model and legal principles adopted: Martin Scheinin, Professor of Public International Law, EUI
  • Mainstreaming the UNCRPD: realizing rights of persons with disabilities through core UN bodies: Juan José Gómez Camacho, Mexican Ambassador to International Organizations in Geneva
  • Common but differentiated responsibilities to realize the UNCRPD: Jukka Kumpuvuori, Abo Akademi University

11:30 – 11:45 Coffee Break

11:45 – 13:30 The EU and the UNCRPD

Chair: Danai Angeli, EUI Researcher and Member of the Human Rights Working Group

  • The EU and its role in the UNCRPD: Delia Ferri, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Verona Faculty of Law
  • Congruence of internal and external action of the EU on persons with disabilities: Francesco Francioni, Professor of International Law and Human Rights, EUI
  • Implementing the social model of disability: Philippe Reyniers, EUI Researcher
  • European Case Law on disabilities: added value and future prospects: Claire Kilpatrick, Professor of International and European Labour and Social Law, EUI

13:30 – 14:30 Lunch

14:30 – 16:30 Monitoring and implementation of the UNCRPD in the domestic sphere

Chair: Masa Anisic, EUI Researcher and Coordinator of the HRWG

  • Impact of the Convention’s equality approach on the substantial rights of the UNCRPD: Masa Anisic, EUI Researcher
  • Immediate obligations and progressive realization in the UNCRPD: Christian Courtis, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • State monitoring of awareness raising campaigns on the rights of persons with disabilities developed by private corporations: Carlos Ríos, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • Challenges and levels of compliance of the UNCRPD: Theresia Degener, Member of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

16:30- 16:45 Coffee break

16:45 – 18:30 The UNCRPD, relevant groups, organizations and partners

Chair: Alice Margaria, EUI Researcher and Member of the Human Rights Working Group

  • Legal principles of the UNCRPD applicable to all actors: Danai Angeli, EUI Researcher and Member of the Human Rights Working Group
  • The UNCRPD and the role of organisations of persons with disabilities: Stefan Tromel, Executive Director of International Disability Alliance
  • Advocacy tools for equal realization of rights of all persons with disabilities: Andrea Dabizzi, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe

18:30 – 18:45 Roundtable and Closing Comments


3 thoughts on “Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities

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  2. Pingback: Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities in International and EU Law Workshop Comments | DREAM Research

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