Item 69 (c) of the provisional agenda*
Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights
situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives
The Secretary-General has the honour to transmit to the General Assembly the report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Gerard Quinn, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 44/10.
In the present report the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Gerard Quinn, examines the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in the context of military operations. The report focuses on the implementation and application of obligations under international humanitarian law towards persons with disabilities during the conduct of hostilities.
The present report is submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Gerard Quinn, to the General Assembly. It contains a thematic study on the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities in military operations.
In preparing the report, the Special Rapporteur engaged in extensive regional consultations (in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa). The Special Rapporteur would like to thank the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Disability Alliance and the Diakonia International Humanitarian Law Centre for coordinating and assisting in the facilitation of the regional consultations. These first-of-their-kind consultations, bringing together the military with disability civil society, proved highly instructive. They lay the groundwork for continued dialogue of this kind in the future.
As part of the development process for the report, the Special Rapporteur also analysed the responses to a questionnaire addressed to States, their militaries, national human rights institutions, specialized agencies of the United Nations, persons with disabilities and their representative organizations. The Special Rapporteur received a total of 22 written inputs and expresses his deep appreciation to all respondents for their insightful contributions and cooperative demeanour.
This report is the second in a three-part series on armed conflicts and disability. The first – presented in 2021 to the General Assembly – assessed the overall visibility of persons with disabilities along all points on the conflict/peace continuum, from conflict prevention to the conduct of hostilities, to evacuation and humanitarian relief, to peacekeeping and to peacebuilding (A/76/146). It found that persons with disabilities were relatively to absolutely invisible along all points on this continuum. To build on this foundation, the Special Rapporteur resolved to produce a more focused report on the implementation and application of obligations under international humanitarian law towards persons with disabilities during the conduct of hostilities.
The third and final thematic report in this series will be presented in 2023, and will focus on peacebuilding and disability, including accountability for past wrongs. It will round out the series by focusing on how to make more intentional space in peacebuilding processes for the voices of persons with disabilities, who have key insights into rebuilding broken societies and creating a more resilient and sustainable future for the benefit of all. These three reports may be seen as a focused and coherent contribution to larger debates in the United Nations system threading together peace and security with human rights, and particularly as they touch on the rights of persons with disabilities.
The purpose of this report is not to paint a picture of a more inclusive kind of warfare. Far from it. It is predicated on the essential illegality of all warfare under the Charter of the United Nations and aims at drastically reducing the lethality of armed conflict as experienced by one of the world’s largest minorities, persons with disabilities.
Source: UN General Assembly