ADF International

Geneva. Palace Of Nations

AVISO: Event promoting equal rights for persons with disabilities at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva


  • Side event in Geneva at the United Nations, 3 March 2020
  • “Human rights apply to all people, including those living with disabilities”

GENEVA (2 March 2020) – Do persons with disabilities enjoy the same rights as everyone else? On 3 March, on the sidelines of the 43rd Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, a side event will address this question. Co-organized by Haiti, the Solomon Islands, and ADF International, expert speakers will explore the variety of challenges people with disabilities have to face, especially with regard to their right to life at all stages. The event is co-sponsored by Poland, the Holy See, Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII, and the European Center for Law and Justice.

“Human rights apply equally to all human beings, regardless of their mental or physical condition. How can we claim to be a ‘human’ family if we don’t uphold the dignity and value of its most vulnerable members? The Human Rights Council must do more to support and protect persons with disabilities”, said Giorgio Mazzoli, Legal Officer for ADF International, based at the United Nations in Geneva.

“We should not grow tired of rejecting claims that persons with disabilities have lives that are not worth living, thereby denying their inherent dignity, worth, and contribution to society. An increasing number of countries are rejecting the sanctity of life in the name of ‘liberalizing’ end-of-life ethics, while some proudly claim to be ‘eradicating Down’s Syndrome’ through a combination of pre-natal screening and abortion procedures. Respect for the equal rights of persons with disabilities is under mounting pressure.”

Programme and Speakers

  • Pawel Wdówik, Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled People, Secretary of State in the Polish Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Policy
  • E. Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva
  • John Wyatt, bioethics expert, University College London
  • Viviane Lambert, mother of Vincent Lambert, complainant on euthanasia before the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
  • The panel will be moderated by Lois McLatchie, ADF International

When: 12-1.30 p.m., Tuesday 3 March 2020

Where: Room XXV, Palais des Nations, Geneva.

If you would like to participate in this side event in Geneva or are interested in an interview with one of the speakers, please, do not hesitate to contact

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Faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people.