Leading UNSW disability advocate Rosemary Kayess joins UN advisory group

UNSW’s Rosemary Kayess has been elected to United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 

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Rosemary Kayess. Photo: Supplied

Rosemary Kayess, the Interim-Director of UNSW’s Disability Innovation Institute, has been elected to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Elections for the committee, which monitors implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, took place at the United Nations in New York on Tuesday.

Ms Kayess acknowledged the leadership the Australian Government had shown in promoting the rights of people with disabilities and thanked the Disabled People’s Organisations Australia for supporting her bid. 

“I am very proud and humbled that Australia has supported my nomination and I look forward to the task ahead,” Ms Kayess said. 

“There are many challenges that lie before us, including the development of a consistent and coherent body of international law that never loses sight of its purpose and objectives, and its principles and spirit.” 

As a woman with disability, Ms Kayess also acknowledged the state parties for voting six women onto the committee, where there was previously only one. 

“It’s great to see so many women with disability come through in this election. In that spirit I pay tribute to all the women and girls whose contribution is so meaningful to what we do.”

An internationally respected lawyer, researcher and academic, Rosemary Kayess is a Visiting Fellow at UNSW Law, and Senior Research Fellow at UNSW’s Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC).

She is Chair of the Australian Centre for Disability Law and is one of the driving forces behind UNSW’s Disability Innovation Institute, a groundbreaking initiative to help transform the lives of people with disability by harnessing research and innovation across all faculties and disciplines.

Her research and advocacy include access to justice, social inclusion, housing and employment. 

More information 

Rosemary Kayess CRPD Candidacy brochure 

United Nations website  

Government nominates UNSW’s Rosemary Kayess for UN disability role