Submission to the OHCHR on the rights of persons with disabilities

PI provided input to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in their consultation on the rights of people with disabilities


Our submission focussed on the evolving impacts of (i) automated decision-making, (ii) the digitisation of social protection programmes, (iii) sensitive data-processing and (iv) assistive technologies in the experiences and rights of people with disabilities.

We called on the OHCHR to:

  1. Examine the impact that growing digitisation and the use of new and emerging technologies across sectors has upon the rights of persons with disabilities;
  2. Urge states to ensure that the deployment of digital technologies is in accordance with the rights of persons with disabilities, including their right to privacy and to regulate for the safe deployment of digital technologies in accordance with principles of legality, necessity and proportionality, ensuring among others specific safeguards to uphold data protection principles and preserve the rights of persons with disabilities;
  3. Recognise the risks that the use of automated decision-making poses to persons with disabilities and urge states to refrain from relying on automated decision-making in the social protection context due to the dangers that the use of such technology poses including in, but not exclusive to, social protection contexts;
  4. Recommend that states ensure that the use of digital technologies in social protection programmes, including digital welfare systems, does not result in exclusionary or discriminatory impacts on persons with disabilities;
  5. Urge states to systematically conduct human rights due diligence, including regular comprehensive human rights and data protection impact assessments, that takes the rights of persons of disabilities into account, including before the establishment of social protection programmes or public private partnerships related to assistive technologies;
  6. Recommend that global funders of social protection programmes conduct human rights due diligence as a pre-condition to the approval of funding;
  7. Urge states to adopt and enforce national data protection laws and regulatory frameworks in order to regulate and limit data processing activities, including by enhanced safeguards for sensitive data, such as health data;
  8. Recall the responsibility of all business enterprises to respect human rights, and states’ duty to protect human rights even collaborating with private companies in order to facilitate the provision of assistive technologies, products or services to persons with disabilities; and
  9. Require that all public private partnership collaborations are carried out in accordance with international human rights standards, including the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.


Our submission is available in English and Spanish.