This reading group will examine the current and future status of disability rights around the globe. Beginning with the first human rights treaty of the twenty-first century -- the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, whose negotiation the instructor participated in -- we will study how disability rights are conceived and developed around the world. In so doing, we will consider several countries where the Harvard Law School Project on Disability is advising governments on drafting or revising their laws (e.g., Vietnam), as well as conducting hands-on human rights training with disabled persons organizations (for example, Bangladesh). We also will look at a few specific disabilities (such as Deafness) as a way of identifying themes that cross boundaries and cultures.
Class will meet every other week for two hours, there will be no paper or exam, and class will be graded credit/fail.