After much anticipation, last week the Obama Administration sent the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to the United States Senate for its advice and consent for ratification. After signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on July 30, 2009, the United States now hopes to become the 113th nation to ratify the treaty. Fortunately, our nation has already established strong support for the rights of people with disabilities through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its 2008 amendments. The Convention now requires a “resolution of ratification” achieved by 2/3 support (67 supermajority vote) in Senate.
The CRPD is the first international treaty to address disability rights globally. While the Convention does not establish new human rights, it does set out greater clarity of the obligations on States to promote, protect and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities. Article 3 of the CRPD sets out the General Principles that apply to the enjoyment of the rights of persons with disabilities which include:
· Full and effective participation and inclusion in society
· Respect for difference and acceptance of persons with disabilities as part of human diversity and humanity
· Equality of opportunity
As of May 2012, the Convention has 153 signatories and 112 ratifications. Key U.S. allies such as Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, and many countries in Europe have already ratified the
For more information on the CRPD we encourage you to view a fantastic presentation delivered by Esmé Grant, JD, Disability Rights Educator at the U.S. International Council on Disability (www.usicd.org) during the BlazeSports 11th Annual Conference on Paralympic Sport and Physical Activity. As Ms. Grant’s presentation details, the CRPD demonstrates a shift in the disability rights structure from previous charitable and medical models to a
more inclusive social framework. The treaty also sets out greater clarity of the obligations of nations to promote, protect and ensure the rights of persons with disabilities including a right to participation in sport and recreation (Article 30). As the United States moves towards ratification of this historic treaty, it is important to have a better understanding of the CRPD and how the U.S. can play a significant role in its implementation. http://www.blazesports.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Treaty-101-How-Does-the-UN-Convention-on-the-Rights-of-Persons-with-Disabilities-Affect-You-CDSS-Level-IV.pdf