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National Disability Rights Network Calls on Senate to Ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

For Immediate Release             
12/03/2012                      

Contact: David Card
202.408.9514 x122
press@ndrn.org

Washington, D.C. – The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) calls on all Senators to vote to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  The Network recognizes that the CRPD seeks the same goals and contains the same rights that the United States established twenty-two years ago in enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The CRPD requires no new legislation, is fully consistent with existing United States laws, does nothing to alter or create new rights in the United States nor effect the ability of parents to determine the education of their children, and requires no additional money.

“The United States has been a global leader in disability rights, having passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support the Americans with Disabilities Act more than two decades before the CRPD, and more recently the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act in 2008.  We call on all Senators to vote to ratify the CRPD under the same bi-partisanship by which it passed the ADA and ADA Amendments Act,” stated Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network.

The CRPD protects and ensures the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and promotes respect for their inherent dignity.  The CRPD is fully consistent with U.S. laws such as the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

“Senate ratification of the CRPD will enable the United States to persuade the 124 other countries party to the treaty to live up to the standards the United States established under the ADA, and to work so that Americans with disabilities traveling and living abroad can experience similar rights as at home,” said David Hutt, senior staff attorney with the National Disability Rights Network and co-chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities International Task Force.  

Only nations which have ratified the CRPD can participate in official conferences to discuss how the CRPD is to be interpreted, vote to appoint members to the CRPD Committee, and work with other nations who are party to the treaty in protecting the rights of persons with disabilities.  Two-thirds of the Senate must vote in favor of the CRPD for the United States to become a party to the treaty under international law.

NDRN greatly appreciates the work of the bi-partisan group of Senators who have come together to advance the ratification process within the Senate. The 124 countries which have ratified the CRPD include such nations as Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Israel, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom.

NDRN is the national membership association for the Protection and Advocacy System (P&A). P&A agencies, located in every state and territory, are the largest providers of legally-based advocacy services to persons with disabilities in the United States. 

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