HRC Dialogue with Special Raporteur on The Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Independent Expert on Albinism

Interactive Dialogue: Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Independent Expert on Albinism

As Delivered by Kathryn K. Keeley

Friday, March 3, 2017

U.S. Intervention at the Human Rights Council

The United States welcomes this opportunity to hear from Special Rapporteur Devandas Aguilar and Independent Expert Ero.

We share the Special Rapporteur’s views that the best solutions to improve accessibility include improving domestic legislation; developing accessible, adequate, and affordable support services; instituting safeguards and independent monitoring for public and private support facilities; and enabling persons with disabilities to have a say on the care they receive. The United States has worked hard to improve accessibility domestically using many of the tools the Special Rapporteur recommended. We also encourage and assist governments to learn about the development and effective implementation of laws, like the Americans with Disabilities Act, to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities should have a voice in policies affecting them, particularly with regard to equal access to education, employment, and social inclusion.

We want to ask the Special Rapporteur whether her membership on the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures has led to improved UN efforts on behalf of women, indigenous persons, and children with disabilities, or of persons with albinism. We also want to ask her thoughts about the physical accessibility of the United Nations and what more can be done to improve that accessibility for all persons with disabilities, whether they are attending a disability-specific meeting or are a member of a member state delegation or civil society.

Additionally, the United States appreciates the Independent Expert’s work in shedding light on the abhorrent targeted attacks against persons with albinism for their body parts. What can the international community do to strengthen existing legal frameworks related to trafficking in body parts in order to increase protections for persons with albinism? Also, how can the international community assist states and civil society to raise awareness, including on the scientific explanations for albinism, in order to combat the myths and erroneous beliefs that trigger violence against persons with albinism?

Thank you.