The election of Windsor Law professor Laverne Jacobs to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a first for Canada.
The country has never before been represented on the international body, which monitors implementation by states parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The committee is made up of 18 independent experts in the field of disability rights elected from 183 states parties.
Dr. Jacobs said she is excited by the opportunity to contribute to furthering disability rights at the international level.
“Fifteen years after its adoption by the United Nations, the Convention still promises to be one of the most transformative equality rights instruments for persons with disabilities around the world,” she said. “I believe in the capacity of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to promote and support disability equality, inclusion, and leadership through continued implementation of the Convention.”
The role is part-time and Jacobs will continue to teach at the University, providing even greater opportunities for students in both domestic and international disability equality law.
An expert in the areas of disability equality and the law, human rights law, and administrative law, Jacobs is a full professor at Windsor Law and a person with physical disabilities. Her work has been cited by disability organizations, government, law reform agencies, and courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada.
She founded and directs the Law, Disability, and Social Change Project — a research and public advocacy centre housed at Windsor Law that works to foster and develop inclusive communities.
UWindsor president Robert Gordon cited her work, calling Jacobs “a strong voice of advocacy and a highly valued source of expertise.”
“Dr. Jacobs inspires all of us to work toward a more inclusive and just society for individuals of all abilities,” he said.