Javier Vasquez, LL.B.,LL.M.
Senior Advisor to the United Nations Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility
Adjunct Associate Professor of Global Health Law, Washington College of Law (American University), Washington D.C.
Javier Vasquez is a lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in public health, human rights, disability, and health-related law. Currently, he is the Senior Advisor of the United Nations Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility and supports UN Special Envoy on international human rights issues in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As Vice-President of Health Programs at Special Olympics International (2016-2019), Mr. Vasquez led all annual planning efforts to strengthen health systems at national, regional, and global levels to achieve targets related to access to health care services by persons with intellectual disabilities.
He was the Human Rights Advisor/Specialist (2000-2016) for the World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office for the Americas known as Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) where he advised Governments in collaboration with PAHO/WHO country offices on strategies to improve access to health systems and the right to the highest attainable standard of health and other related human rights of groups in situation of vulnerability. In PAHO/WHO, he also facilitated the formulation/review of national public health laws, policies, practices; and the reform of public health services in a manner consistent with international human rights treaties that protect the right to health. Prior to his work at Special Olympics International and PAHO/WHO, Mr. Vasquez was a staff attorney and recipient of the “Romulo Gallegos Fellowship”, for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights at Organization of American States (Washington D.C. May 1997-May 1998) where he prepared draft reports on the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities. Mr. Vasquez holds a Master’s Degree in International Law from the Washington College of Law, The American University, Washington, D.C. (1996) which focused on International Human Rights Law, public health, critical issues pertaining to the right to health, and other related human rights of groups in situation of vulnerability and ethnic/gender equality.
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