RWI Researcher Anna Bruce Advising the Swedish Governmental Investigation on National Disability Policy


Anna Bruce, a researcher at RWI, has been appointed to the committee of experts advising the upcoming Swedish governmental investigation on how to ensure that national disability policy and governance is effectively implementing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The findings of the investigation will be released January 2019.

The importance of this investigation lies in that its work is explicitly tied to the implementation of CRPD. This means that any view taken by this investigation on what is a problem, how it is to be solved and by whom must be compatible with key principles such as respect for difference, inclusion in the community, autonomy, equality and dignity, says Bruce, it also means that the disability movement must be actively and meaningfully involved in the work of the investigation.

Bruce has worked with RWI as a consultant since 1998, mainly in relation to programmes for Belarus, Turkey, China and Cambodia. The main topics have been equality and non-discrimination, intersectionality, disability human rights, gender human rights, children’s human rights and human rights education.

Before joining RWI, Bruce worked as a researcher and lecturer at the Faculty and Law and the Faculty of History at Lund University, at the Department for Global Political Studies at Malmö University and at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at National University of Ireland, Galway.

Alongside her academic work she has worked with civil society, public authorities as well as international actors such as OHCHR. She participated in the negotiations on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as a consultant for the Swedish Disability Ombudsman.

During 2018 Anna will be doing mostly research, together with the Institute’s incoming guest professor Gerard Quinn. She will pursue two main areas of research: an intersectional analysis of the added value that CRPD can bring to the rights of forced migrants and the relevance for and application of the understanding of disability in CRPD in the Global South.

An example of this close connection with human rights and CRPD is that a key task of the investigation is to chart the practical application of the principle of universal design, says Bruce, there is no clearer expression of respect for difference and equal rights than this idea: that all of society’s environments and services must be constructed from the word go to fit the requirements of all.

Planned applications for research funding include the consequences of emerging technologies of human enhancement for human rights in general and equality in particular, and the practical consequences of the framework of intersectionality for human rights implementation and adjudication.

She will also be engaged in teaching, notably running a course in legal equality and non-discrimination for Ph.D. students at Human Rights Studies at the Department of History and lecturing on the Master Program at the Law Faculty.