Washington, D.C. - The Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) applauds the submission of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) by the Obama Administration to the U.S. Senate for ratification. Members of CCD, a coalition of national consumer, advocacy, provider and professional organizations working together to advocate for national public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society, have for years called on the U.S. to ratify this important treaty protecting the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities. CCD is further thankful to Senator Barrasso, Senator Coons, Senator Durbin, Senator Harkin, Senator McCain, Senator Moran, and Senator Udall for their support and leadership of the CRPD through the upcoming ratification process.
“We hope the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the entire U.S. Senate will act quickly to ratify the CRPD and thus restore the United States to a position of leadership in the area of disability and human rights. It is vitally important that the nation which through enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 led the effort to ensure that individuals with disabilities are protected under law, now join the 112 other nations who have ratified the treaty and are seeking to provide these rights to the estimated one billion individuals with disabilities around the world,” stated Donna Meltzer, Chairperson of CCD and Senior Director of Government Relations at the Epilepsy Foundation.
The purpose of the CRPD is to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.
“The submission of the treaty to the Senate for a vote on ratification is an important first step towards enabling the United States to more deeply engage the international community on disability rights as contained in the CRPD,” said David Hutt, Co-Chair of the CCD International Task Force and a Senior Staff Attorney with the National Disability Rights Network. Only nations which have ratified the CRPD can participate in official conferences to discuss how the CRPD is to be interpreted, and work with other nations party to the treaty in upholding the rights of persons with disabilities. Sixty-seven Senators must vote in favor of the CRPD for the U.S. to ratify and legally become a party to the treaty under international law. The Obama Administration signed the treaty on July 30, 2009.
CCD calls on the U.S. Senate to quickly consider and ratify the treaty and fully restore the United States to a global leadership position on disability and human rights. The Convention is already consistent with U.S. laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.