Brochure - Human Rights and Health: Persons with Disabilities



Noah’s luck had just run out. In late March, he was arrested, accused of murdering two men five months earlier. And this was only the beginning. Things would get worse, much worse.

As Noah was leaving his preliminary hearing, a police officer shot him in the back. He was taken to a hospital, paralyzed in both legs. Three months later, Noah was returned to his prison cell. There he languished, unable to move on his own. He was forced to pay other prisoners to help him go outside and to take out his slop bucket. When he ran out of funds, he lay in his cell in deplorable conditions...

*This account is based on a real incident that occurred in Latin America. Similar cases dealing with the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities have been reviewed by the United Nations Human Rights Committee ( and by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (

Both the United Nations (UN) and the inter-American human rights systems have a significant body of legal instruments that can be used to protect the rights and liberties of persons with disabilities. Because human rights instruments established by international law protect all persons without distinction of any kind such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, they also protect the rights and freedoms of persons with disabilities...