Next Tuesday, July 22, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is scheduled to hold a vote on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). This vote or “markup,” is a critical step toward a full Senate vote, and we need your help! Call 202-224-3121 to speak to your Senators today and urge them to swiftly approve and ratify the disability treaty.
Background on the Disability Treaty (CRPD)
The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) is an international human rights treaty that seeks to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities around the world. The CRPD was inspired by U.S. leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities, particularly with the adoption in 1990 of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Currently, 126 nations have ratified the disability treaty, improving the lives of more than 1 billion people living with disabilities. The time is long overdue for the United States to be added to this list. The United States must not tolerate any injustice against any population anywhere.
Why the disability treaty? Why should the civil rights community care?
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights supports inclusion, dignity, and equality for all – including people with disabilities – and the CRPD would create greater access for Americans with disabilities who are serving, working, traveling, and studying abroad.
Data shows that many people with disabilities are people of color, who are also at greater risk of disparate treatment under the law. In fact, according to the latest census data, 18.7 percent of all Americans have some type of disability. African Americans and American Indians/Alaska natives experience the highest rates of disability. These points, taken with the fact that people with disabilities have a poverty rate that is approximately double (28.6 percent) that of persons without disabilities (13.7 percent) suggests that although progress has been made, there is still much work to do. The disability treaty can help address these injustices.
Who supports the Disability Treaty?
The CRPD has bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate and in previous years. Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), and many others support the treaty. More than 700 American organizations, including civil rights organizations, disability groups, veterans’ service organizations (most recently American Legion), businesses, and faith-based organizations have pledged their support to this treaty. For a list of supporting organizations, click here.
Action is needed now. Call senators (202-224-3121) and let them know that you support this treaty and the time is now. Click here to view details about the hearing.