Report of the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities on Artificial Intelligence and the rights of persons with disabilities


Deadline:
3 November 2021 (CLOSED)
Issued by:
Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
Purpose:
To inform the Special Rapporteur’s thematic report on Artificial Intelligence and the rights of persons with disabilities, to be presented to the Human Rights Council at its 49th session, in March 2022

Background

Twice a year, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities issues calls for inputs to inform his thematic studies to be presented at the Human Rights Council at its March session and at the General Assembly in October.

Pursuant to Human Rights Council Resolution 44/10, the Special Rapporteur on the rights of person with disabilities has begun the preparation of his next thematic report, which will focus on Artificial Intelligence and the rights of persons with disabilities. The report will be presented to the Human Rights Council at its 49th session in March 2022. 

Objectives

In his report, the Special Rapporteur intends to undertake innovative research concerning the effect of new technologies involving Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Automated Decision Making (ADM) on persons with disabilities.

In view of the rapid worldwide deployment of these new technologies, the Special Rapporteur wishes to examine how they can advance the rights of persons with disabilities and, equally important, examine their potential to do harm and, in so doing, reduce, mitigate and eliminate such harm.

The Special Rapporteur notes the work already undertaken by the United Nations including the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on the right to privacy in the digital age, presented to the Human Rights Council at its 48th session (A/HRC/48/31). He wishes to take forward this work by referencing specifically to the rights of persons with disabilities as set out in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and the United Nations Flagship Report on Disability and Sustainable Development Goals (the Flagship Report).

After engaging with all relevant actors (States, civil society, national human rights institutions (NHRIs), organizations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) and commercial undertakings and other stakeholders), he expects that the report will identify good practices but also propose “red lines” prohibiting harmful uses contrary to established human rights norms.

The Special Rapporteur expects his report will propose that relevant actors engage with a cyclical three-stage process.

  1. Mapping: Relevant actors should (1) Identify the use of new technologies within their territories, their potential to enhance the rights of persons with disabilities and the extent to which they risk infringing them, (2) Examine the reach, effectiveness and accessibility of existing legal protections of the rights of persons with disabilities in order to protect and enhance rights; and, (3) Review the extent to which national protections and incentives are “fit for purpose” to protect and enhance the rights of persons with disabilities.
  2. Action: Having identified gaps in existing protection under (a), relevant actors should (4) Develop and execute an appropriate “action plan” with measures such as capacity building, education, guidance, increasing resources to meet identified needs, propose legislative change, and plan other targeted measures which will guard and enhance the rights of persons with disabilities.
  3. Assessment: Having formulated a plan of action, relevant actors should (5) Monitor their deployment, and, (6) Assess and evaluate its achievements and change course, where necessary.

There are many domains in which AI, ML and ADM are being used. The Special Rapporteur wishes to focus on the benefits and potential for discriminatory outcomes in relation to the following key areas:

  1. Interactions between persons with disabilities and State bodies
  2. the status of persons with disabilities as beneficiaries in relation to the providers of goods and services,
  3. the role of persons with disabilities as workers/employees in relation to their employers and potential employers,
  4. the ways in which persons with disabilities can access education and information, and
  5. all aspects facilitating the independent living of persons with disabilities.

Questionnaire and types of input sought

In order to inform the preparation of his report, the Special Rapporteur seeks contributions from States, National Human Rights Institutions, civil society organizations, United Nations agencies, academia, international and regional organizations, corporate entities, individuals, and other stakeholders.

Inputs may be sent through answering the following questionnaire (available in English only), or through direct, stand-alone contributions.

The Special Rapporteur transmits the following Questionnaires to relevant actors as follows -

  • Questionnaire A: States [Word | PDF]
  • Questionnaire B: NGOs, NHRIs, OPDs, human rights defenders and civil society, [Word | PDF] and
  • Questionnaire C: Commercial undertakings, trade bodies, academic institutions, and similar undertakings engaged in the development of AI, ML and ADM and similar technologies. [Word | PDF]

Inputs can be sent in accessible format (Word document) by email to: ohchr-sr.disability@un.org

All submissions must be received by 3 November 2021 at 6 p.m. CEST.

When submitting your reply, kindly indicate if you have any objections with regard to your reply being made available on this website.

Instructions

E-mail address:
E-mail subject line:
Inputs - SR Disability Report on artificial intelligence
Deadline:
3 November 2021, 6 p.m. CET - CLOSED
Word limit:
(preferably up to) 2500 words
File formats:
Accessible document (Word/accessible PDF)
Accepted language:
English only


How will inputs be used?

Inputs received within the deadline indicated above will inform the report of the Special Rapporteur on artificial intelligence and the rights of persons with disabilities.

All submissions received in accessible format will be published on this webpage, unless the submitter clearly indicated that they did not wish to have their input be made publicly available when submitting their response.

Please note that submissions received in non-accessible PDF format will not be published, but may be made available upon request.



Special Procedures
Special Rapporteur on the rights of person with disabilities
Recent thematic reports
Issues in focus
Contact information

Mr. Gerard Quinn
Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities
OHCHR-UNOG; CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Email: ohchr-sr.disability@un.org

Others involved
External links