What We Do

The central mission of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability (HPOD) is to support the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Many people with disabilities do not yet know their rights. Nor do they know how to use the CRPD to positively change their communities and societies.

HPOD strengthens the development of civil society so that people with disabilities are able to use opportunities offered by the Convention. Getting governments to effectuate the goals of the CRPD will require concerted, informed, and coordinated advocacy by people with disabilities and their supporters. We work to make certain that people with disabilities know their rights and can act as knowledgeable advocates and leaders. HPOD supports self-advocacy by people with disabilities. We facilitate national, regional, and international collaboration and cooperation between organizations of people with disabilities, non-governmental organizations, and National Human Rights Institutions.

HPOD promotes the rights of people with disabilities through a variety of activities including training human rights advocates, facilitating innovative legislation and policy development, providing technical assistance on strategic litigation, stimulating new thinking about the abilities of persons with disabilities and their human rights, and promoting academic scholarship and teaching.

We provide technical advice to international development institutions to support human rights-based approaches to disability inclusive development. This enables persons with disabilities to participate in developing equitable societies that respect their human rights.

HPOD works with people with disabilities, their representative organizations, non-governmental organizations, National Human Rights Institutions, governments, and universities worldwide. We work on a pro bono (no fee) basis for people with disabilities and their representative organizations.

© 2008 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.

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