Support Ratification of CRPD!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Posted by: Denise Marshall
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!