On the 6th October the Human Rights Council of the United Nations appointed Professor Gerard Quinn as the new UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As Special Rapporteur Professor Quinn will work with States and other stakeholders to support the full realisation of the rights of persons with disabilities and their participation as equal members of society.
First established in 2014, the mandate of Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities was created to:
- Strengthen efforts to recognize, promote, implement and monitor the rights of persons with disabilities from a human rights-based approach, in line with the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the broader human rights framework
- Recall the universality, indivisibility, interdependence and interrelatedness of all human rights and the need for persons with disabilities to be guaranteed the full enjoyment of these rights without discrimination.
Professor Quinn will replace outgoing Rapporteur, Catalina Devandes, who has held the position since 2014. Prior to his appointment Professor Quinn has had a long career in the disability sector. Professor Emeritus in law at the National University of Ireland (Galway), Professor Quinn holds degrees in political science (B.A.) and law (LL.B.) from the National University, is a qualified barrister-at-law (B.L., Kings’ Inns) and a graduate of Harvard Law School (LL.M., S.J.D.).
He has had a varied career in public service. He was a former Director of Research at the Irish Government’s Law Reform Commission and has served two terms on the Irish Human Rights Commission. Having served on Irish Government bodies such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Joint Committee on human rights and the Government’s Commission on the Status of Persons with Disabilities he currently sits on the scientific committee (advisory board) of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency (EU FRA, Vienna). He has worked as a temporary civil servant in the European Commission (EU) on equality policy and also rose to be First Vice President of the Council of Europe’s Social Rights Committee (a treaty monitoring body on economic and social rights in Europe).
EASPD would like to congratulate Professor Gerard Quinn on his appointment and looks forward to supporting him in his role as UN Special Rapporteur.