On May 17 the Obama Administration submitted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to the United States Senate for its advice and consent, and a week later a bipartisan group of seven Senators came out in support of the treaty. On July 12, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on the U.S. ratification of the CRPD. CEC issued a press release in support of the ratification. The testimony was compelling and ratification is seen by many as a bipartisan issue as stated by Senators Harkin and McCain.
Voices from CEC members made a difference. Thank you for sending letters and calling your Senators. There was overall strong support for ratification from experts from government and civil society. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled the mark up of the treaty out of committee for July 19 at 9:03am. Please go to CEC’s Legislative Action Center and send a letter asking your Senator to support U.S. ratification of the CRPD.
This vital nondiscrimination treaty seeks to achieve the same goals as existing disability laws in the United States--to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and integration into all aspects of society including education. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 90 percent of children with disabilities in developing countries have no access to school, and the International Labour Organization reports that in some countries, the unemployment rate among individuals with disabilities is as high as 80 percent.
In the face of this despair, the CRPD is a vital, new instrument for the advancement of rights and opportunities for people with disabilities around the world. To learn more about the CRPD, please read CEC’s CRPD Issue Brief.