Researcher

The common core of all my research is the analysis of how law responds to human diversity, primarily disability but increasingly citizenship, child status and gender. Here I explore the potential of international human rights law and international migration law vis-à-vis national law (particularly anti-discrimination legislation) and policy. An equally central aspect of my research is the exploration and application of scholarship from disciplines other than law (mainly in the areas of sociology, medicine and philosophy) to inform the understanding, evaluation and implementation of international as well as national law. Such scholarship includes disability studies, gender studies, childhood studies, migration studies, intersectionality studies and post-colonial studies. I engage with these to understand and evaluate how human rights law approaches diversity, to identify the relationship between general features of law and diversity and to explore the role of law per se in achieving diversity sensitive social justice. In terms of areas of human rights norms, I have focused in particular on the right to health, rights connected to pride, social recognition and portrayal of diversity through law, the right to education, the right to privacy, freedom from violence and abuse and procedural rights.

My research in the area of disability, which resulted in finalizing my doctoral thesis in 2014, has consisted in exploring the negotiations of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the resulting instrument through the lens of disability theory as well as through the particular ideological heritage of international human rights law. Here I lean heavily on my participation in the negotiations on the CRPD on behalf of the Swedish Disability Ombudsman. This research traced and highlighted central choices made in the formulation of the CRPD in terms of what entitlements where deemed to merit the protection of the law, and for whom. It also evaluated the consequences of these choices in terms of gaps of legal protection for persons with disability in general, as well as for particular segments of persons with disabilities. The most central outcome of the research is the double edged consequences of the reign of the Social Model of Disability in the negotiation and the implementation of the CRPD, and (albeit to a lesser extent) in the legal instrument itself. The upside of the influence of this direction of disability theory is a strong protection of autonomy, a steadfast questioning of environmental barriers to participation, a central role for persons with disabilities in the implementation of the CRPD and the demand for social recognition of the value and contribution of persons with disabilities. The downside chiefly concerns a diminished potential for realising central aspects of the right to health (the standing to demand health measures as opposed to the standing to refuse health measure) for the entire constituency of the CRPD, and particularly for sections of person with disabilities who are also children, women, older persons, persons with high health requirements and persons in the Global South.