ENIL Welcomes Prof. Gerard Quinn’s Appointment as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

ENIL Welcomes Prof. Gerard Quinn’s Appointment as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

In Brussels, 7 October 2020 – The European Network on Independent Living – ENIL welcomes the appointment of Prof. Gerard Quinn as the new UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, succeeding Catalina Devandas.

Our organisation’s close cooperation with Prof. Quinn goes back at least 15 years, to Ireland, and we have had the opportunity to support his nomination for the position of UN Special Rapporteur from the start of the process.

Prof. Quinn has been particularly helpful in our advocacy on the use of European Union funds in relation to the right to independent living. He has been instrumental in helping us get the message across that using these funds to build and refurbish institutions of any size goes against the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and EU law.

In this respect, Prof. Quinn’s keynote presentation during the Estonian Presidency conference on Independent Living in 2017 was of great importance, as well as his subsequent technical advice to the European Commission (including his 2018 legal memo), the aim of which was to stop investments of EU funds into institutions of any size, and to ensure full implementation of the CRPD and EU laws. Earlier this year, Prof. Quinn intervened in the first case to the General Court in Luxembourg on the use of EU funds for segregation of persons with disabilities in Bulgaria, brought jointly by ENIL, the Validity Foundation and the Centre for Independent Living Sofia. Last month, we had the opportunity to hear from Prof. Quinn at our webinar on the use of EU  funds to build new institutions.

We look forward to continued cooperation with Prof. Gerard Quinn in his new role, with a view to advance the right to independent living for all disabled people in Europe and worldwide. Following on from a great working relationship with Catalina Devandas and her insistence on prioritising the lived experience of disabled people, we hope to focus on issues such as deinstitutionalisation, access (and cuts) to personal assistance, the use of EU funds, children’s right to grow up in a family and the right of older people with disabilities to participation and being included in the community.

We wish Prof. Quinn all the best in his new mandate.



October 15, 2020, 5:27 am

My name is Asadollah Chahardivar. I live in Iran and I am 26 years old
5 years ago, I could not continue my education due to life problems،But for now I am going to continue my education.
But there are many problems
First of all, it is my financial problem and the difficult living conditions in Iran
And I have two brothers, each with a physical disability.
Even if you want me to send you the photo and all the requested information to confirm my words
And in Iran there is no financial support for the disabled.
And if possible, please provide me with free education so that I can work in another country while studying and to help my disabled brothers.
Or help me so I can find charities to help my brothers.

I will wait for your answer
thank you

Antonio Centeno Oriz

October 31, 2020, 7:50 am

From Devandas to Quinn is one painful step back in our fight to defend “Noting about us without us”, I can’t understand ENIL’s support to such regression

ENIL Secretariat

November 15, 2020, 5:58 pm

Dear Antonio, Prof. Quinn has always been a great ally to Independent Living activists, both in Ireland and internationally. We are fully aware he does not identify as a disabled person, but have confidence he will do his job well.

Ammar Ahmad Alhariri

January 8, 2022, 9:34 am

Name: Ammar Ahmed Al-Hariri
Syrian nationality
Date of birth / Daraa / Dael 5/1/1986
Current place of residence / Saudi Arabia / Dammam
Tel / 00966545114709
Email / Taaj2012aa@gmail.com

Dear Sir:
I am a person of special needs who fled Syria in 2013. I fled due to fear of my family and myself from the war. My home in Daraa demolition due to the airstrikes. Not to mention the human rights violations by the Syrian regime.
I did not participate in or join any actor or armed party in conflicts.
I have been living in Saudi Arabia with a temporary residence since 2013.
I’m now a father of three. I have already faced all the challenges of staying and caring for my family as any father who cares about the future of his children.

My message to you,
My kids are at school age. I can’t get them into a public school because they have a temporary residence permit. Besides, I can’t pay for private school. They haven’t had primary education yet.
I was three years old with right leg paralysis. I received the wrong baby vaccine that led to paralysis in my foot.
I need treatment and medical care. I have pains and cramps, so I stopped my treatment due to the huge expenses I can’t afford.
I can’t work because of my health condition. My wife’s taking a part-time job with a very low income.
There’s no institution or humanitarian organization in Saudi Arabia that helps me.
I ask for your kind help and hope to support my family and me in obtaining safe passage as refugees or resettlement to a safe country where I can get a good education for my children and medical care.

Note that I cannot return to Syria because of deteriorating living and human conditions. Besides, fear for the lives of my children because of widespread abductions. I fear retaliation by the Syrian regime, and my arrest because I am a Daraa citizen where the protest and revolution started.
My younger brother in Turkey and my older brother living in the United States of America were granted resettlement by UNHCR.
The remaining members of my family in Syria – my father, my mother, sisters, and husbands – Here is my father’s mobile number + 963 937 271 619 +963 981 925 624
Hope to receive a positive response as this is my last hope in life
Best regards

ENIL Secretariat

January 12, 2022, 8:36 am

Dear Mr. Al-Hariri, thank you for contacting us and sorry to hear about your situation. Unfortunately, ENIL works at the European level and we have no expertise in assisting individuals with obtaining refugee status or resettlement. You might want to contact the International Disability Alliance, in case they can help: https://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/secretariat

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