Background: Catalina Devandas Aguilar became the first Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities on 1 December 2014. She is from Costa Rica and is a lawyer and human rights advocate who has worked for the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, United Nations Secretariat and the World Bank. Each of her roles has centered around rights for disabled persons with a focus on women with disabilities.
The duties of her mandate include:
- Develop a regular dialogue with States and other stakeholders for the identification, exchange and promotion of good practices related to the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities;
- Receive and exchange information and communications on violations of the rights of persons with disabilities;
- Consult with and involve persons with disabilities and their representative organizations in a participatory manner in the conduct of her work;
- Make concrete recommendations on how to better promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities, including on how to promote development that is inclusive of and accessible to persons with disabilities;
- Provide technical assistance in support of national efforts for the effective realization of the rights of persons with disabilities;
- Raise awareness of the rights of persons with disabilities;
- Closely cooperate with other UN human rights mechanisms and UN entities to advance the rights of persons with disabilities in a coherent manner;
- Integrate a gender perspective throughout the work of the mandate;
- Report annually to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.