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MRG and partners welcome new UN Rapporteur on persons with disabilities’ focus on intersectionality

3 March 2021

Human Rights Council – 46th Session

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Mr. Gerard Quinn – item 3

Mr. Special Rapporteur,

My name is Pratima Gurung and I am the Secretary General for Indigenous Persons with Disabilities Global Network (IPWDGN). On behalf of the Network and of Minority Rights Group (MRG), and National Indigenous Disabled Women Association Nepal (NIDWAN), we warmly welcome your appointment as Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Our organisations share your vision of addressing issues of intersectional discrimination affecting persons with disabilities from marginalised communities and in particular Indigenous peoples with disabilities and persons with disabilities belonging to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities, who together constitute millions of people across the world whose voices are not heard and are left the furthest behind. We would like to draw your attention to the small but growing collaboration across rights movements of persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and minorities to combat the discrimination experienced by these persons located at the intersections of multiple identities.

Paying attention to intersectional issues has never been more important than at this point in history. The Covid-19 pandemic is disproportionately affecting older persons and persons with disabilities, but it is also disproportionately affecting minorities and Indigenous peoples specifically. We believe that focussing attention on intersectionality and strengthening cross-movement collaboration and advocacy is crucial if we have any hope of building back better.

Our organisations, together with indigenous, minority and disability partners across the world, are committed to ensuring inclusion and an inter-cultural approach to implement CRPD on the ground for the benefit of Indigenous and minority persons with disabilities. Complex issues such as intersectional discrimination can only be tackled by comprehensive and combined efforts. We look forward to collaborating with your mandate in this endeavour.

I thank you.