- December 12, 2016

The International Disability Alliance is reflecting on the life and contributions of Bengt Lindqvist, who died on December 3rd 2016, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. He played an extraordinary role in the advancement of the rights of persons with disabilities around the world. 

Members of the International Disability Alliance remember Bengt Lindqvist as a vital and pioneering force for the entire disability rights movement, and one of the principal influences on the establishment of our Alliance. As Special Rapporteur, he ensured that international DPOs played a leading and substantial role in monitoring the UN’s work on disability rights and development throughout the 1990s and beyond. This leadership fostered the trust and deep collaboration between our organisations that led to IDA’s formal creation in South Africa in 1999.

Lindqvist also cemented IDA’s enduring relationship with Sweden which remains as strong as ever. As an early advocate of what would become the CRPD – he ensured the movement retained its commitment both to expanding the norms of international human rights and to overcoming the daily barriers faced by those living in the least developed countries, and most marginalised populations and communities.

Bengt Lindqvist’s memory remains a source of inspiration and clarity for each of us, and his legacy of advancing rights for all persons with disabilities continues to grow. This week, as we recognise the tenth anniversary of the CRPD and its 172 ratifications to date, please join us in also celebrating this remarkable life.

Bengt Lindqvist was was co-founder of Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI), who have written and collected tributes to him here:

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