Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) applauds the Obama administration's decision to submit the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) to the US Senate for ratification. Although the US signed the convention in 2009, Senate ratification is required for the US to become fully bound by the Convention.
The CRPD mandates respect for the dignity of disabled people, non-discrimination, and full participation of the disabled everywhere. Ratification of this treaty would provide global protections against discrimination; requiring equal access to health care, employment, and education. It would also eliminate barriers to mobility and accessibility in public places, similar to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the landmark US domestic law protecting individuals with disabilities. The US Government’s commitment to the global protection of disability rights would, as President Obama stated in his message to the Senate, “position the United States to occupy the global leadership role to which our domestic record already attests.”
Ratification of the CRPD would give the US an opportunity to further demonstrate its leadership on disability rights in September, when new members will be elected to lead the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
PHR strongly urges the Senate to ratify this treaty to demonstrate the US leadership on this important issue.