This article develops the notion that poorer nations of the Global South are particularly disadvantaged in terms of realizing disabled people's human rights in practice. This is because they are situated in what is termed the global peripheries of law. These are peripheries in which very limited human and financial resources are available to practically realize disability human rights (reflecting processes such as the outmigration of trained professionals, devaluation of currency as a condition of debt repayment, and dependence on agricultural exports and imports of expensive manufactured goods, including medicine, from the Global North). Being on the global peripheries of law also reflects legacies of colonial and neo-colonial violence and oppression in an unequal global capitalist order, such as ongoing and widespread violence against women and unsafe working conditions—both of which result in death and the geographically uneven production of impairment. This uneven production of impairment also needs to be considered as an important part of understanding disability human rights law in a global context. Following a brief overview of the U.N. convention on the human rights of disabled people and the U.N. Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to provide a global legal context and of the Inter-American Human Rights System to provide a regional legal context, the article illustrates why it is so difficult to realize disabled people's human rights in practice in the Global South, through a case study of Guyana.
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