The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international disability treaty that was inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities. The CRPD is a vital framework for creating legislation and policies around the world that embrace the rights and dignity of all people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was the model for the CRPD, which values of independence and respect and concepts of reasonable accommodation are echoed throughout the treaty.
The Convention is intended as a human rights instrument with an explicit, social development dimension. It adopts a broad categorization of persons with disabilities and reaffirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms. It clarifies and qualifies how all categories of rights apply to persons with disabilities and identifies areas where adaptations have to be made for persons with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights and areas where their rights have been violated, and where protection of rights must be reinforced. Visit the CRPD site here: CRPD Homepage
A Brief History of the CRPD
The United States signed the CRPD in 2009. On December 4, 2012 the United States Senate considered the ratification of the CRPD but fell 5 votes short of the super-majority vote required (ratification of a treaty requires a 2/3 vote of the U.S. Senate).
On July 22, 2014, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) out of Committee by a 12-6 vote. The Democratic Senators on the Committee were joined by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and John Barrasso (R-WY).
On July 23, 2014, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) held a press conference with senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), John McCain (R-AZ), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Kelly Ayott (R-NH) to express support for the Treaty. Other speakers at the press conference included Paralyzed Veterans of America's Executive Director Sherman Gillums. He stated that the “treaty is simply the global application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has well served our society for over two decades. If America does not embrace this opportunity to show the world that people of all walks deserve a right to the barrier-free pursuit of happiness, then we would fall far short of our potential as a values driven, global role model.”
Paralyzed Veterans of America has joined with our partners in the veterans and disability communities to urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to bring the CRPD to the floor for consideration. Final passage of the treaty will require 67 votes.