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Spring 2022 Course

Disability, Human Rights, and Development

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

This course examines the current and future status of disability rights as a focus for both human rights theory and for thinking about what constitutes development and humanitarian assistance. After reviewing the historical status of disabled persons both practically and within the international human rights system, we will examine the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the first human rights treaty of the twenty-first century. The CRPD has, through its near-universal ratification, dramatically raised the standards for how disability human rights are conceived, developed, implemented and adjudicated around the globe. It has also catapulted disability rights onto the development and humanitarian agenda, including state-based aid schemes and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet many questions remain open regarding how to make it operational around the world. We will consider what effect the CRPD has had on law reform and development (including development aid and humanitarian assistance), as well as what barriers and systemic concerns remain to be addressed. Throughout, we will look at a few specific disabilities (such as Autism) as a way of identifying themes that cross boundaries, cultures, and approaches to realizing disability rights. Your grade will be determined by a 15-20 page research paper.

Note: This course is not available for cross-registration.