Rapporteur spécial sur les droits des personnes handicapées
Ms. Heba Hagrass, from Egypt, was appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities from 1 November 2023.
She is an advocate, an international disability consultant, and a researcher on the rights of persons with disabilities with an extensive experience in Egypt, the Arab Region, and worldwide. Ms. Hagrass is a sociologist with PhD in Disability Studies at the University in Leeds (2010) with a specialization in disability rights and social policies, gender, and employment.
At the international level, Ms. Hagrass was notably a representative of women with disabilities in the International Disability Caucus (IDC) who participated in the drafting of Article 6 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on women with disabilities.
From 2015 to 2020, Ms. Hagrass served as a Member of the House of Parliament of Egypt where she represented persons with disabilities. In this role, she submitted five draft laws relating to the rights of persons with disabilities covering different areas. Prior to becoming a member of parliament, she was the Secretary General of the Egyptian National Council for Disability Affairs. She is a board member of both the National Council for Persons with Disabilities and the National Council for Women. In Egypt, she was also a member of the committee drafting the National Human Rights Strategy of Egypt and a founding member of the Inclusive Education Foundation, a key advocate for starting the implementation of inclusive education in 2009.
Between 2017 and 2020, Ms. Hagrass served as a member of the Governing Council of the National African Peer Review Mechanism. Further, she is a founding member of the Arab Organization of Disabled People in 1998, where she was active until 2008, including as the head of its Women’s Affairs Committee. She was a member of the Arab Forum for Social Sciences and Health between 1997 and 2000.
Ms. Hagrass has wide experience as a consultant on disability rights and inclusion with numerous international, regional and national organizations, such as UN agencies, the International Disability Alliance, CBM Advisory Group, Disabled People International, Rehabilitation International, Save the Children UK, Plan Egypt, Coptic-Evangelical Organization for social services, Arab Labor Organization, and diverse Egyptian Ministries and others.