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“As Bob Dole looked on from his wheelchair, the Senate GOP shot down the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) treaty, which would grant people with disabilities equal rights in other countries. “Those opposing the treaty argue that it would then potentially change U.S. law on issues, such as abortion and home schooling.”—
Yes, you read that correctly: the GOP is so insensitive that 38 of them refused to sign a treaty on rights for disabled people because it might “violate US sovereignty” or [positively] impact standards for home-schooling disabled children. Or maybe something something abortion something. By the way:
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities essentially makes the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act a non-binding international standard. It requires no change to U.S. law.
Support Equality: Support the Disability Treaty!
If you care about social justice, equality, and human rights for all people … if you are an American with a disability, or an American veteran, or someone who loves a person who is … then please take some simple action to support the campaign for US ratification of the disability treaty. Ask your US senators to vote YES to ratify the CRPD Disability Treaty in 2013.
This may sound like something that shouldn’t need your help. Because, who would be against people with disabilities? But we already lost our first attempt to get the CRPD ratified in the US in December 2012 due to an insidious campaign of misleading lies and mis-information from opponents. We cannot allow this to happen again. The disability, veterans, faith, and social justice communities are trying again in 2013. More than 500 organizations are working hard on this. But we need your help to make it happen.
Visit the link to view a new slide show that gives a brief overview of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD, also known as the “disability treaty”). It covers: what the CRPD is, why it matters to people with disabilities around the world, why US ratification is important even though we already have the Americans with Disabilities Act, and simple actions that people can take to help:
Also visit a great website that has more extensive materials on the CRPD disability treaty and the history of the campaign for US ratification at http://www.disabilitytreaty.org. This includes materials and resources for advocates, such as fact sheets that expose some of the myths and mis-information being disseminated by treaty opponents.
If you have 48 minutes to spare to learn more about the CRPD and some of the organizations that have been working to support US ratification and why they are involved, watch this great new webinar video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4LHXZyHERU&feature=youtu.be. Yes, it has captions for deaf and hard of hearing people (and others who need them). This video includes some content summarizing some of the mis-information being disseminated about the treaty and counters it.
Description of pictures for people who can’t see them: The first picture shows a group of disability advocates (and two service dogs) at an independent living center in Vermont holding up signs with the letters “CRPD” in big letters, along with a sign in blue asking US senators to vote in support of the disability treaty (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities). One of the men is seated in a wheelchair, another holds a walking cane.
The second picture has another group of disability advocates (two of them holding white canes) also holding up similar signs spelling out “Vote” “Yes” “C R P D”.
The third picture shows a baby at a window and has a message typed onto the picture that says, “Dear Senator Klobuchar and and Senator Franken: I was lucky to have been born in America, in which the Americans with Disabilities act of 1990 (ADA) created long lasting influence worldwide. Today, I’m concerned about the fact that United States has not ratified the CRPD, which was inspired in part by the ADA. As a deaf person who spent the first 18 years of her life in Minnesota, I am asking you to please move forward in ratifying the CRPD. Please ratify the CRPD so that all of us (with and without) disabilities can reach for our dreams without discrimination and inequality. If we can’t proudly stand for the CRPD, then what are we worth standing for? #CRPD #UNCRPD -R. Berman
The fourth picture shows a woman standing behind a table with printed materials. One of the biggest signs at the table says, “Be a Hero! Support CRPD Ratification”!
The fifth picture shows a wheelchair user facing the distant horizon (away from the camera), his/her arms outstretched toward the sky. The slogan overlaid on top of the picture says “CRPD Yes!”
The sixth image shows a round “sticker” in red and white. Around the outer rim of the red circle, in white text, it says “Inclusion * Dignity * Equality” At the bottom of the rim are icons of: two hands in the sign for “interpreter”, a wheelchair user, the icon used to indicate presence of audio loop equipment, and a blind person using a white cane. On the inside of the circle it says “Ratify CRPD Yes!”
Call your senators, tell then to STOP UN treaty CRPD!
The vote happens tomorrow (12/04/12), so call your Senators now!
Marco Rubio Seeks to Deny Disabled Women Full Access to Reproductive Health Care
A rare bipartisan effort underway in the Senate — to ratify a United Nations treaty on disability rights — has become the latest target of politicians who would like to undermine a woman’s ability to make personal health care decisions.
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) guarantees non-discrimination for persons with disabilities worldwide and is consistent with disability rights protections already guaranteed in the United States, most notably the protections afforded by the Americans with Disabilities Act. As Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) said in his opening statement during the hearing:
The United States is a leader in domestic disability rights protection. What joining the Convention does is to provide a critical tool as we work to ensure that American citizens, including our men and women in uniform and our disabled veterans, are free to travel, work, and live abroad.
Ratification of the CRPD by the U.S. would encourage other countries to improve accessibility standards for the estimated one billion disabled persons around the world.
Article 25 of the Convention guarantees persons with disabilities “the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination on the basis of disability.”
It goes on to urge nations to “provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality, and standard of free or affordable health care and programmes as provided to other persons, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based public health programmes.”
The Convention guarantees persons with disabilities the right to equal access to all services available to persons without disabilities; it would not otherwise create or revoke the right to any particular medical procedure or service. That is, until Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced language during the recent CRPD hearing defining sexual and reproductive health as not including abortion. Suddenly, a proposed effort to advance persons with disabilities’ equal access to health care included restrictive language that, if passed, would apply only to them.
The CRPD is clearly about non-discrimination and is especially important in the protection of the rights of women with disabilities.”I think one of the very important things about this treaty is that it recognizes the unique challenges that women face — that women with disabilities face,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NC) during the Senate Foreign Relations Committee mark-up of the convention. ”In many countries not only are they challenged by their gender, but they’re challenged by the fact that they have disabilities. The treaty’s focus on the particular needs of women with disabilities really mirrors what has happened in the United States. We are a leader in standing up for the rights of all women.”
The Rubio amendment, on the other hand, states:
The United States understands that the phrase ‘sexual and reproductive health’ in Article 25(a) of the Convention does not include abortion, and its use in that article does not create any abortion rights, cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion, and in no way suggests that abortion be promoted as a method of family planning.
To be clear, abortion is part of sexual and reproductive health care. State Department officials agree and said as much during the CRPD hearing. Singling out abortion, as the Rubio amendment aims to do, would set a dangerous precedent for future policy-making in the U.S. What the Rubio amendment truly represents is an agenda on the part of opponents of women’s health to impose restrictions on sexual and reproductive health care everywhere. International treaties are used as blueprints by many developing nations to set national policy. And if the Rubio language were to be adopted by other countries, it could ultimately deny access to lifesaving services for women with disabilities living in extremely vulnerable settings — singling them out relative to all other women.
Disability rights issues have long enjoyed strong bipartisan support (the Americans with Disabilities Act passed 91–6 in the Senate). This latest attempt by Rubio and his colleagues to stigmatize women’s health threatens to upend a strong tradition of U.S. support of which we should be very proud. CRPD ratification is critical to maintaining our leadership role and to eliminating disability discrimination throughout the world.
By a thin margin, the majority ultimately succeeded in passing an alternative to Senator Rubio’s language. This new language, which should not have been necessary, reiterated the nondiscrimination function of the treaty. Though settled for the moment, this debate could easily resurface when the full Senate considers the CRPD — a vote that will demand strong bipartisanship since treaties require a vote of two-thirds of present senators for ratification.
As Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said during the hearing, “No senator in my view should use any international treaty to push his or her views on an issue that isn’t part of this treaty.” The use of any unrelated debate to advance ideology and undermine women’s access to health care is troubling, and signals a renewed and bold effort in this country to prioritize taking health care away from women — above all else.
It is worth noting another pattern, which is that some U.S. politicians are totally opposed to anything remotely linked to the United Nations. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) also proposed an amendment that would undercut the convention and put a hold on the legislation, delaying its progress substantially. Sen. Rubio is the author of another piece of pending legislation that could substantially limit U.S. participation in the UN system. Neither senator ultimately supported the convention in the hearing.
These extreme views in opposition to women’s rights and U.S. participation in the global community only succeed in marginalizing a bipartisan effort like the CRPD. In this case, such politicking serves only to harm millions of persons with disabilities around the world, most of all women with disabilities.
Ensuring Accessibility During Natural Disasters
Reports indicate that individuals with disabilities are disproportionately affected by natural disasters and emergency situations, due in large part to a lack of adequate planning. Available facilities are frequently inaccessible or are ill equipped to accommodate the needs associated with certain disabilities, therefore, by including individuals with disabilities in all stages of the disaster management process, particularly during the planning and preparation phases, the effectiveness of disaster responses can be greatly improved.
An estimated half a billion people - 10 percent of the world population – experiences some form of impairment or disability. Following recent natural disasters including Hurricane Katrina, studies have found that the regions affected by these disasters are frequently not prepared to evacuate, shelter, transport, or meet the medical needs of individuals with disabilities. In addition, the shelters, transportation services, and emergency communications and information broadcasts available in many regions are often not accessible.
By learning from problems identified following natural disasters, regarding the needs of individuals with disabilities, emergency response initiatives can be modified to ensure that the needs of people with and without disabilities are met. According to experts, all individuals, regardless of their disability status, should prepare for potential disaster situations by having a store of food and water on hand to last a minimum of three days. In addition, it is recommended that individuals with disabilities have a supply of items related to their specific needs - which may include eyeglasses, hearing aides, a laminated communication board, or medications - for at least seven days. FEMA, which recently launched a disaster preparedness app, notes that individuals with certain types of disabilities may need to take additional steps to prepare for and receive assistance following natural disasters. It is suggested that individuals with disabilities establish a network of friends, family, and neighbors who may be able to assist them in the event of an emergency.
While natural disasters affect everyone within a given region, individuals with disabilities may face barriers that can cause additional issues. A number of government agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have put measures in place to help mitigate the barriers faced by individuals with disabilities in emergency situations. Ensuring the inclusion of individuals with disabilities and their representatives in strategic planning efforts and the provision of information in accessible formats before, during, and following natural disasters are among HHS’s chief concerns. In addition, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other international policy initiatives aim to ensure that humanitarian responses to natural disasters are inclusive of the needs of individuals with disabilities.
The U.S. Senate Rejects UN Treaty for Disabled for Claims of Sovereignty
“World Government” Fearmongering May Hide True Motives of Senators
On Thursday, April 4, the United States Senate voted down the United Nations convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD). The convention is basically the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) on a supranational worldwide scale, but the motion to sign the treaty failed, falling six votes short of the 67 votes, or two-thirds, required.
Retired Senator Bob Dole, who played a key roll in passing the ADA act in 1990, even showed up on the sidelines of the Senate in a failed attempt to push his old fellow Senate Republicans to vote in favor of the treaty. As a blog by New York Times’ Lawrence Downes put it, “So much for America’s support of a global agreement ‘to promote, protect, and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities.”
The failure to pass the treaty is a win for fearmongers like Glenn Beck that push an agenda of fear, propagating the idea of a ”World Government” ran by the United Nations, where the U.S. and other member states around the world have little to no say in what goes on in their borders. This fear is completely irrational because it goes against the U.N.’s long established record of consistently giving its members complete sovereign rule. In addition, the treaty wouldn’t change anything within the borders of the U.S. since it only agrees with everything that the ADA did in 1990 and nothing else.
The truth is that the Senators who voted the treaty down were only doing so on the behalf of the multi-national corporations that are financing their campaigns. The treaty would ultimately force them to make companies like Nike, Reebok, Adidas, and all the other MNC’s that have operations in abroad, to upgrade their facilities and treat their workers more humanely with higher pay and less working hours. These companies don’t want to do that because it would cut into their profit margins or hurt sales volume due to increased prices to cover the increased costs.
This rise in prices is another point that the fearmongers use to promote their ideas of why this treaty that the U.N. is pushing is a bad idea. The flaw with this way of thinking is that they believe profit trumps the humanity of their employees and their subcontracted producers around the world. They fail to see that the world on a whole trumps their conglomerates and their quest for profit. Simply because they can provide cheaper products for the masses to buy, it does not matter if the workers who make them are basically slaves.
The multi-national corporations selling products must see that a global village exists in the modern world where globalization is reality and that just because the product is cheaper and the profits are large it doesn’t mean that people will continue buying them when the labor practices are well publicized. Whether it is Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Apple, Samsung, Walmart, or any other entity that maintains a borderless existence, the people will hear about it and they do care and the time has come where humanity will trump profits.
The Obama Admin on inclusion of PWD why not ratify #CRPD @USAID
US National Interest On many occasions, the Obama Administration has spoken on the importance of including people with disabilities in development programs and the need for the US to serve as an internationalleaderinthisarea. TheUnitedStatesformallysignedtheUNCRPDonJuly30,2009. During a public meeting where he announced his intent to sign the CPRD, President Obama stated that:
“Disability rights aren’t just civil rights to be enforced here at home; they’re universal rights to be recognized and promoted around the world…This extraordinary treaty calls on all nations to guarantee rights like those afforded under the ADA. It urges equal protection and equal benefits before the law for all citizens; reaffirms the inherent dignity and worth and independence of all persons with disabilities worldwide. ” 6
Secretary Clinton echoed the President’s support stating “discrimination against people with disabilities is not simply unjust. It also hinders economic development, limits democracy, burdens families, and erodes societies.”7 The inclusion of disability within gender assessments and analysis supports US national interests.
-The above was taken from USAID’s Guide on How to Integrate Disability into Gender Assessments and Analysis, October 2010
So we say it but we don’t do it. Let’s ratify in 2013!!!!
Can you explain in a nutshell what Agenda 21 is? Like the CRPD with the disabled children..What is that?
According to the UN:
Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels. The “21” in Agenda 21 refers to the 21st century. It has been affirmed and modified at subsequent UN conferences.
Sounds pretty Harmless. But when you dig a little deeper you find out that it is the action plan implemented worldwide to inventory and control all land, all water, all minerals, all plants, all animals, all construction, all means of production, all energy, all education, all information, and all human beings in the world. INVENTORY AND CONTROL. In other words, control what we could and could not use our public lands for and to also limit private property ownership.
Now CPRD (Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).
It was mostly opposed by pro-life groups and individuals, but like with any treaty or legislation the devil is in the details. The way it was written left open the possibility for the UN to dictate to the US what it can and cannot do with disabled people.
The International Right to Life Federation says pro-life groups oppose this legislation because it leaves open the potential for the international community to permit sterilization or abortion for the disabled. The terminology, found in Article 25, requires, “free or affordable health care including the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based health programs.”
Bradley Mattes, president of the International Right to Life Federation, stated, “This is a misleading measure in that it does nothing to protect life. It is disguised as a way to ‘help’ the disabled. Instead it intentionally sacrifices the most vulnerable – the disabled and the unborn – all in the name of population control.” He continued, “Many don’t realize that this international treaty could potentially supersede future attempts to overturn Roe v. Wade.”
Notes and quotes from AC360 on the #CRPD
Anderson Cooper= AC 12/10/12
Overview on CRPD what it does. Signed 2008. Bob Dole on senate floor. (Shows the image of Bob Dole on Senate floor during final vote).
HSLA The UN Treaty would somehow let the UN mandate how parents …
Re-shows Senator Mike Lee not giving an answer to any treaty that has impacted US law. Senator Mike Lee brings up “Article 7”- best interest of the child.
AC: “You can’t name one US treaty that has ever had an impact on US law”
ML:“I didn’t come prepared to site ….”
Richard Thornburgh (life long republican): “It has no effect whatsoever… it gives no jurisdiction to UN”
Michael Farris (Chancelor Patrick henry college) Radio interview: DA is not defined in the treaty, my kid wears glasses now he’s disabled now the UN gets control over him.
AC: “That’s made up how you can say that?”
MF “I didn’t say that exactly…”
AC “well you did that…. it’s left up to every country on how to define disability”
Senate foreign relations committee
MF: “Overrides Vienna Convention of treaties” There’s a disability reservation that tracks it to a degree, the treaty is a law
AC: ….What UN treaty has control over an American child…
MF: The HAY convention- this summer an American mom lost the ability to litigate over her husband, children sent back to Zimbabwe with husband. UN CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CHILD
AC: “You say they want to be a socialist nation? (referring to Thornburgh, Bush, Obama, McCain) ”
MF: I don’t think Bush understood the convention fully…….
MF: “Anderson you’re just wrong about that” If John Kerry wrote that… In my class.. I would flunk you…
MF: “We need to make sure we implement this treaty as a superseding document”- disability advocate at UN convention said by MF
AC: Resolution- RUD reservations and limit any obligations this treaty might entail, the Supreme Court has ruled that the senate committee
MF: Right, RUD will limit the effect of the
MF: “Just because you don’t open your eyes, senators praising each other and praising bob dole rather than reading the article to the treaty” MF
Senior analyst (Jeffrey Toobin New York Columnist):
Hatred of the UN is now a bedrock principle of the conservative movement
Not true about UN treaty becoming US law.
Congress has said, there is no right created to sue in American court based on this treaty
“Paranoid fantasy its not reality” on opposition