Event Sept. 1, 2010 - ESCR & Disability: Exploring the Intersections

Start Date: 
Wednesday, September 1, 2010 - 00:00
ESCR-Net, Harvard Project on Disability, Rehabilitation International, BlueLaw LLC, Council of Canadians with Disabilities, ACCION International

 Conference Room 4 in the North Lawn Building, UN Headquarters, New York, 1:15-2:45pm


A major impetus for the drafting of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was the persistence of economic and social exclusion for persons with disabilities.  The CRPD encompasses a full and in some instances highly detailed expression of ESC rights, within the context of disability. Significantly, the CRPD Optional Protocol, adopted at the same time as the CRPD, provides for individual and group complaint procedures as well as an inquiry procedure. Together with the newly adopted Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), these instruments represent new avenues for disability rights advocacy and ESCR advocacy alike. In addition, they further erode the notion that rights requiring positive measures are merely a matter of policy and not the basis for pursuing legal claims.

This side event considers the opportunities and challenges presented by these new avenues for advocacy and gauges the possibilities for creative joint partnerships between ESCR specialists and disability rights specialists. The panel will present perspectives from disability rights experts working in the ESC rights realm and experts working within the "mainstream" ESC rights community.

Panel Introduction and Opening Remarks: Akiko Ito, Chief of the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Moderators: Professor Michael Stein, Harvard Law School Project on Disability & Janet Lord, BlueLaw International LLP

Confirmed Panel Speakers:

  • Steve Estey, Chair, International Committee, Council of Canadians with Disabilities
  • Joshua Goldstein, Principal Director and Disability Inclusion Project Manager, Center for Financial Inclusion at ACCION International 
  • Anne Hawker, President, Rehabilitation International
  • Rebecca Brown, Program Officer, International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR-Net)