Meet the candidates. Election of 9 members of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The 13th session of the Conference of the States parties to the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities will take place in New York and online on 30 November, 1 and 3 December 2020. Importantly for the disability movement, 9 new members for the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with disabilities will be elected.

The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD Committee) is composed of 18 independent experts – persons of high moral character and recognised competence in the field of human rights. The term of 9 elected members will expire on 31 December 2020. Thus, 9 seats in the Committee must now be filled through an election.

The European Disability Forum, has called on governments in our region to nominate qualified candidates, in particular, to focus on qualified women with disabilities– in particular because this committee has often in the past not had a good gender balance.

Read our webpage on the 2020 CRPD Committee elections.

We are delighted to share with you the profiles of 5 candidates from Europe. Here is a short review of each of them.

  1. Ms. Claire Lucille from Malta

Ms. Claire Lucille is a full-time resident academic with the Department of Disability Studies, within the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta, for the past five years. She has been the Chairperson of the Faculty’s Research Ethics Committee.
last two years.

She has worked closely with children and young adults with PMLD as a teacher and is amanager in front-line service delivery for persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities. She has been promoting the right to supported decision making.

Ms. Lucille’s research, advocacy and activism, past and present, have revolved around the rights enshrined in Articles 23 (respect for home and family life) and 25 (right to heath) of the CRPD. She actively tackled issues related to sexual health and the right to parenthood for persons with intellectual disabilities both in Malta and abroad.

More information of Ms. Claire Lucille

  1. Ms. Ivanka Jovanovic from Serbia

Since its foundation in 2007, Ms. Jovanovic is the Executive Director of the National Organisation of Persons with disabilities of Serbia (NOOIS), representing over 800.000 Persons with Disabilities and working on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society.

Monitoring the implementation of the CRPD and working on harmonising Serbian regulations and practices with the Convention are among her priority activities.

Ms. Ivanka holds a Bachelor degree in Journalism from the University of Belgrade. She has experience in the field of non-governmental organisation management and human rights. In addition, she has other informal education from the following fields : human rights, non-discrimination, advocacy and social marketing.

As a disability movement activist herself since the age of 18, Ms. Ivanka Jovanovic is a person with disabilities and she has been an electric wheelchair user since she is 16.

More information about Ms. Ivanka Jovanovic

  1. Mr. Jurij Toplak from Slovenia

Mr. Jurij Toplak is an internationally recognised disability rights advocate and lawyer since 2007. Besides, he is a visiting Professor at the Fordham University School of Law in New York, and Head of Public Law Department and Professor at the University of Maribor.

Five of Mr. Jurij Toplak’s family members have muscular dystrophy. He is internationally recognised expert on impact litigation and court access for persons with disabilities on CRPD articles related to non-discrimination, accessibility, access to justice, integrity, freedom of expression, opinion and access to information, privacy, education and political participation.

More information about Mr. Jurij Toplak

  1. Ms. Katarzyna Roszewska from Poland

Ms. Katarzyna Roszewska is an associate Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law and Administration at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, and Vice-President of Polish Disability Forum (PDF), an umbrella organisation member of EDF.

She is a parent of three children with disabilities, one of them is a teenager with ASD and intellectual disabilities. “When my son was a child, I joined the disability right movement. I strive for the right to self-determination, independent life, civil and social rights of persons with intellectual disabilities” she told on her CV.

Among others, her educational background includes relevant degrees related to the rights of persons with disabilities, such as a Master’s degree from the University of Warsaw, Faculty of Law and Administration, and a PhD dissertation. She received a US State Department scholarship on Equal Right for Persons with Disabilities in 2015.

More information about Ms. Katarzyna Roszewska

  1. Ms. Sif Holst from Denmark

Among Ms. Holst’s most relevant current positions, we can find Vice-chair of the Disabled People’s Organisation Denmark (DPOD), Member of the Nordic Council Disability Council and Member of the European Economic and Social Committee. Besides these work experiences, she has also served in many volunteer boards, committees and steering committees.

Ms. Sif Holst was born with the connective tissue disorder Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and is a power wheelchair user. She has a particular interest in empowering persons with disabilities (especially women) to live active lives. Specific topics of expertise include reproductive rights and health services, rehabilitation, education, access to employment, universal design, personal mobility, living independently, participation in public life and awareness raising.

More information about Ms. Sif Hols

More information on the Election of nine Members of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.