Skip to content

William I. Pons, Janet E. Lord & Michael Ashley Stein, Disability, Human Rights Violations, and Crimes Against Humanity, 116 Am. J. Int’l L. 58 (2021).

Abstract: Persons with disabilities have historically been subjected to egregious human rights violations. Yet despite well-documented and widespread harms, one billion persons with disabilities remain largely neglected by the international laws, legal processes, and institutions that seek to redress those violations, including crimes against humanity (CAH). This Article argues for the propriety of prosecuting egregious and systemic human rights violations against persons with disabilities as a CAH, and, in addition, asserts the necessity of ensuring the accessibility of international criminal processes to those individuals. The UN Security Council's recent acknowledgement of the enhanced risk that persons with disabilities experience during armed conflict, the growing evidence of widespread human rights violations against them, and an ongoing effort to forge a UN convention on the prevention and punishment of CAH make these arguments especially timely.