Catalina Devandas-Aguilar appointed as Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities

November 7, 2014

The Disability Rights Fund congratulates the new Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities  


The Disability Rights Fund (DRF) and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund (DRAF) congratulate Ms. Catalina Devandas-Aguilar on her appointment November 6th by the President of the Human Rights Council as Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities.  


Since 2009, Ms. Devandas-Aguilar has served as Program Officer of DRF and DRAF, where her work has been crucial in building technical capacity of DPOs at country levels to implement legal and policy changes in line with the CRPD; initiating cross-movement partnerships, especially between the Indigenous Peoples’ movement and the disability rights movement; and strengthening disability movements at national and regional levels.   


Ms. Devandas-Aguilar is a lawyer by training and a human rights advocate, working extensively on disability issues at the national, regional and international levels. Catalina worked with the UN Secretariat unit responsible for CRPD and at the World Bank as a consultant for the Disability & Inclusive Development team for Latin America and the Caribbean region. Ms. Devandas-Aguilar also served as a Board Member of the Latin American Network of Persons with Disabilities, during the Ad-Hoc Committee meetings leading up to the adoption of the CRPD. Her work has had special emphasis on the rights of women with disabilities and indigenous persons with disabilities. She has experience supporting capacity building and technical assistance projects with governments, UN system actors, national human rights institutions, and DPOs. 


With her knowledge, experience and enthusiasm, Ms. Devandas-Aguilar will make great contributions to advance the rights of persons with disabilities as Special Rapporteur, supporting states to fulfill their obligations as outlined in the CRPD.  Representatives of Mexico and New Zealand – who developed the mandate for the Special Rapporteur on Disability under OHCHR – warmly welcomed her appointment. The Funds are extremely proud that Catalina was selected among 22 applicants for the mandate of Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and wish her the greatest success.