The fight for rights "extends to every country and every community," President Obama said Monday, the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
Obama signed a proclamation that marked the 20th anniversary of the observance.
"We reaffirm that the struggle to ensure the rights of every person does not end at our borders but extends to every country and every community," the president said.
The United States is one of 154 countries that signed the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Obama said in the proclamation, stating that injustices against people with disabilities "are an affront to our shared humanity."
The Signing of the CRPD by America - A First Step
That’s why the U.S. Senate ought to ratify a U.N. treaty on rights for people with disabilities, a vote that’s scheduled for Tuesday.
The USA and the CRPD
The USA is one of the few countries that has not ratified the Convention nor signed the optional protocol. Many disabled people's organizations around the world find it difficult to understand why the USA hasn't signed or rarified the CRPD, especially when our country is viewed as having the most advanced social and legal protection for people with disabilities. Amazingly, the CRPD was partially inspired by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
On a positive note, before taking office in January 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Convention. After that, a two-thirds vote of the Senate is needed to ratify the treaty – which we hope will be accomplished quickly. Education and outreach to members of Congress is important, so that they can understand why this Convention is so signification to and is supported by the American deaf community.
The NAD is an organizational member of Ratify Now (www.ratifynow.org), a group that is comprised of individuals and organizations who are passionate about using the CRPD to protect and advance the rights of people with disabilities worldwide – their website has a wealth of ratification advocacy tools. For additional information, see the United Nation’s Enable website (www.un.org/disabilities), which is focused on rights and dignity of person with disabilities.
In summary, not only will the Convention promote equality and human rights, it will also give deaf people the opportunity to work with other nations in promoting deaf rights and improving interconnectivity between deaf communities. But for opportunities yet to come, the USA will need to first ratify the treaty, which is expected to happen in 2012.
This article was adapted from “Unlocking Disabled Peoples' Rights,” by Peggy Linn Prosser, which appeared in the NADmag, January/February, 2009, and again updated in October 2012.
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities | National Association of the Deaf
United States International Council on Disabilities - CRPD Ratification UPDATES!
The Main Debate in USA About CRPD Needs to Be Addressed — MFIPortal