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Support Ratification of CRPD!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Denise Marshall
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The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international disability treaty that was inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities. The CRPD is a vital framework for creating legislation and policies around the world that embrace the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities. The CRPD is the first human rights treaty of the 21st century and the first international treaty to address disability rights globally. The CRPD sets out clarity of the obligations of nations to promote, protect and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities. The treaty promotes equal rights for people with disabilities in all areas of life including employment, education, access to politics and justice, and full inclusion in cultural events, leisure and sports. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was the model for the CRPD, which values of independence and respect and concept of reasonable accommodation are echoed throughout the treaty.

The United States signed the CRPD in 2009. On December 4, 2012 the United States Senate considered the ratification of the CRPD but fell 5 votes short of the super-majority vote required (ratification of a treaty requires a 2/3 vote of the U.S. Senate). In 2013, the Senate Committee on U.S. Foreign Relations has held one hearing and has scheduled a second for Thursday, November 21, 2013. Read the treaty here.

COPAA sent a letter of support to the entire Senate urging ratification of the CRPD. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is aligned squarely with the core of COPAA’s mission. The treaty recognizes that all persons are equal before the law; prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability; and guarantees equal legal protection. It is an international statement that the rights guaranteed in the IDEA, the ADA, Olmstead, etc. are sacrosanct and part of international law.

Some opponents have indicated that the treaty undermines current U.S. law, however, the fact is that the treaty protects existing law and regulation, stating in Article 4: Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions which are more conducive to the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities and which may be contained in the law of a State Party or international law in force for that State. There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized or existing in any State Party to the present Convention pursuant to law, conventions, regulation or custom on the pretext that the present Convention does not recognize such rights or freedoms or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.

Furthermore, during consideration of the CRPD by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2012, legal experts who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations testified that the treaty is consistent with the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Rehabilitation Act, the Architectural Barriers Act, and numerous other federal statutes.

Tomorrow, November 21st-- 9:30 am, there is a 2nd Hearing in the United States Senate.

You Can Watch it Live on C-SPAN -or- You can stream it live on your computer HERE

RAISE YOUR VOICE – Support Ratification of the Treaty!!

The CRPD’s Senate leaders, the disability community and its allies remain committed to bringing the treaty to the Senate Floor but we need to tell every Senator to ratify the Disability Treaty!

To send your Senator an email, visit this official page, or call the Capital switchboard at(202) 224-3121.

Please take 5 minutes and send your Senators a clear message today - Support Ratification of the CRPD!

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