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Newly-elected UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities meets with the Convention's ISU


Internationally renowned expert on disability, development and human rights, Catalina Devandas, appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, has met with the staff of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention’s Implementation Support Unit (ISU).


Ms. Devandas met with the ISU’s Director, Kerry Brinkert, and Implementation Support Specialist, Paramdeep Mtharu, on 6 November 2014 – the same day as her appointment was made public.

“We are proud to have engaged the Special Rapporteur at the earliest possible stage in her term,” said Kerry Brinkert.

The Special Rapporteur’s mandate includes having a regular dialogue with States and other relevant stakeholders to identify, exchange and promote good practices relating to the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities and their participation as equal members of society."

In this sense, Ms. Devandas shares an agenda with the States Parties to the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention who expressed in their Maputo Action Plan their commitment to the full, equal and effective participation of landmine survivors in society.

“We wish Catalina Devandas all the best as she carries out her tasks, which include raising awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities, combating stereotypes, prejudices and harmful practices that hinder their opportunity to participate in society on an equal basis with others, promoting awareness of their positive contributions and informing persons with disabilities about their rights,” said Paramdeep Mtharu.

“By fulfilling this mandate, all persons with disabilities, including landmine survivors, should benefit.”

Catalina Devandas will serve a three-year term.

The decision to appoint a Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities was made by the United Nations Human Right Council on 27 June 2014.

Catalina Devandas is a Costa Rican lawyer born with spina bifida and has been an activist with disabled persons' organizations at national, regional and international levels, and has served as a Programme Officer with the Disability Rights Fund.

Ms. Devandas participated in the negotiations of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). 

Previously, Catalina Devandas worked at the World Bank’s Disability and Inclusive Development team for the Latin American and the Caribbean region and for the Secretariat for the CRPD at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

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