Jul 14, 2009

Ratify the UN Disability Treaty

There's an idea.

Report Michael Stein and Janet Lord in Ratify the UN Disability Treaty, Foreign Policy In Focus.

Some 139 states have signed and 58 states have ratified the Convention, but not the United States. Nor did the United States actively participate in or otherwise facilitate the CRPD's negotiations and drafting, despite a wealth of technical expertise garnered from years of experience with the seminal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Obama administration can use the opportunity of signing and submitting to the Senate for ratification the Convention as a means of reaffirming the commitment of the United States rejoining the global community generally, and to continuing American leadership in the area of disability law and policy.

... Regrettably, the United States has the poorest record of ratification of human rights treaties among all industrialized nations, having ratified only 3 of 26 international human rights treaties. The CRPD offers our nation an opportunity to join the global community as part of a historic Convention, and to signal acceptance of the Vienna Declaration's principles that human rights are holistic in nature. As well, the CRPD is a vehicle to reevaluate domestic laws and policies in a manner that would respond to current shortcomings and thereby maintain America's precedence in the disability field.

On December 11, 2007, then-candidate Barack Obama called for the United States to 'lead the world in empowering people with disabilities to take full advantage of their talents and become independent, integrated members of society.' He further called for a reclamation of America's global leadership by becoming a signatory to — and having the Senate ratify — the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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