Giving the Veiled a Voice: A Test of the Efficacy of International Law

Mariyam Cementwala : Political Science

Mentor: Professor Beth Simmons, Political Science

Mariyam plans to investigate whether international law helps people with disabilities in developing countries, through a case study of inclusive education (Education for All) in India. Over the last two decades, disability activists have succeeded in instituting explicit or codified international obligations, norms, standards, and binding rules about disability, through international organizations like the United Nations. Their presumption is that international law can be a tool for the translation of grandiose principles into realized services that actually better the human condition, even among the poorest and most downtrodden individuals in the developing world. In order to investigate to what extent this presumption has been borne out, Mariyam will conduct field research in India on the education of children with disabilities and will interview key individuals involved in the disability rights movement, within such organizations as the World Bank and the United Nations. Mariyam will present her findings as her Senior Honors Thesis in Political Science.