Disability & Human Rights Fellows Program
The Center has launched a new Disability & Human Rights Fellows Program, sponsored by the Open Society Foundations (OSF), which will bring attorneys from various parts of the world to WCL to engage in a specialized course of study focused on disability and human rights. This Fall, the Center is pleased to welcome the first cohort of Disability and Human Rights Fellows. They are: Bijay Dahal (Nepal); Alpana Bhandari (Nepal); Facundo Chavez Penillas (Argentina); Juan Ignacio Perez Bello (Argentina); and Adalberto Mendez Lopez (Mexico).
The program is the first of its kind, focused on the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and its integration into national and local law. The program was developed and is being co-directed by Prof. Robert Dinerstein, director of the WCL Disability Law Clinic, and Hadar Harris, executive director of the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law. WCL is one of six universities around the world participating in this new program in its inaugural year.
The program aims to advance the rights of persons with disabilities, and through legal channels, help overcome the effect of exclusionary practices, so that persons with disabilities achieve a state of full and effective participation and inclusion in society. The program intends to provide disability rights advocates and lawyers with the necessary expertise to develop new legislation, jurisprudence, impact litigation, and scholarship, thereby taking advantage of the innovations and opportunities offered by the UNCRPD. It also seeks to enhance the emerging discourse of disability rights as human rights.