Catalina Devandas Aguilar, former Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities (2014 – 2020)
Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar of Costa Rica is a lawyer by training and a human rights advocate. She was appointed as the first United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of persons with disabilities in 2014, and served until August 2020.
Ms. Devandas Aguilar has worked extensively on disability rights and inclusive development for the past 20 years, including with the World Bank, the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, and international donor organizations that supported the work of organizations of persons with disabilities to promote the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She was previously part of the disability rights movement at national, regional and international level and continues to work closely with organizations of persons with disabilities.
Her work priorities as a Special Rapporteur included socioeconomic inclusion, the promotion of full citizenship of persons with disabilities, and embracing the understanding that persons with disabilities are part of human diversity.
She is married, the mother of three daughters, and has spina bifida.
"No more excuses to leave persons with disabilities behind!!" – Ms. Catalina Devandas Aguilar