The present report is submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant to Council resolution 44/10 by the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, Gerard Quinn. It provides an overview of the activities undertaken in 2021 and contains a thematic study on artificial intelligence and the rights of persons with disabilities.
The world is undergoing unprecedented and rapid growth in the use by States of artificial intelligence, automated decision-making and machine-learning technologies. These new technologies can be of enormous benefit to persons with disabilities and drive the search for inclusive equality across a broad range of fields such as employment, education and independent living. However, there are many well-known discriminatory impacts. While there is a growing awareness of the broad human rights challenges that these new technologies can pose, a more focused debate on the specific challenges of such technology to the rights of persons with disabilities is urgently needed. In his thematic study, the Special Rapporteur intends to initiate and inform such a debate. In it, he describes the risks that this technology constitutes to the enjoyment of the human rights of persons with disabilities, as provided by the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He maintains that the human rights of persons with disabilities should be placed at the centre of the debate about these technologies. Once these risks are addressed, then the practical benefits of artificial intelligence might be realized. To that end, practical recommendations as to how this can be achieved are set out in the final section of the report
Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities