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November 15, 2022

ABA presents International Human Rights Award to Professor Cisternas Reyes

WASHINGTON, Nov. 15, 2022 — The American Bar Association is pleased to honor Professor María Soledad Cisternas Reyes, the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Disability and Accessibility, with its 2022 International Human Rights Award.

Throughout her career, Cisternas Reyes has been a true pioneer in the field of international human rights law and a champion of the most vulnerable populations across the world. Her own experience as a blind lawyer, together with her commitment and hard work, has a real impact on the daily lives of the populations she serves.

“Professor Cisternas Reyes deserves all the accolades for her career-long, transformative advocacy for the rights of persons with disabilities – precisely the kind of dedication and effectiveness the ABA International Human Rights Award was established to recognize,” said ABA President Deborah Enix-Ross. “We congratulate her on winning this award and thank her for her extraordinary work.”

The ABA established the award to recognize sustained excellence and effectiveness in human rights advocacy. Recipients are selected by a committee comprised of members representing the ABA Center for Human Rights, the Rule of Law Initiative, and the Sections of International Law, Civil Rights and Social Justice and Litigation. The Selection Committee solicits, receives and considers nominations globally. Past award recipients include Wang Yu of China (2016); Patricia Guerrero of Colombia (2017); Abdelrahman Al Gasim of Sudan (2018); Waleed Abu al-Khair of Saudi Arabia (2019); Margaret Ngoi-Yee Ng of Hong Kong (2020); and Adeola Austin Oyinlade of Nigeria (2021).

More about Cisternas Reyes and her exceptional advocacy, as well as her award acceptance remarks, may be viewed here (in English) and here (in Spanish).

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.