May 25, 2012
Harkin Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators to Announce Support for Disability Treaty
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), lead Senate sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), today joined a bipartisan group of Senators including John McCain (R-AZ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Barrasso (R-WY), Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tom Udall (D-NM) to announce their support for U.S. ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Senate consent to U.S. ratification of CRPD will recognize the fundamental values of non-discrimination and equal access for persons with disabilities in all areas of life and help protect Americans with disabilities who work and travel abroad from discrimination, including disabled veterans.
“The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities builds on the U.S. experience implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act and promoting equal opportunity and full participation for all people with disabilities in the lives of their communities,” said Senator Tom Harkin. “As a lead Senate sponsor of the ADA, I look forward to working on a bipartisan basis to ratify the Convention and reaffirm our country’s commitment to improving access and opportunities for people with disabilities around the world.”
“As a cosponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Amendments Act, I have long advocated on behalf of equal access and non-discrimination for all Americans, including our veterans and today’s disabled soldiers returning home from serving their nation in war,” said Senator John McCain. “I support U.S. ratification of the disability treaty, as it seeks to advance these same fundamental values of equality and human dignity around the world.”
“The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities promotes independence, dignity and inclusion while protecting the rights of Americans with disabilities when they travel abroad,” Senator Dick Durbin said. “These basic rights should be promoted and emphasized across the world and that’s why I support ratification of this important treaty.”
“Each person has the inherent right to life and should have the opportunity to pursue happiness, participate in society, and be treated equally before the law,” Senator Jerry Moran said. “The CRPD advances these fundamental values by standing up for the rights of those with disabilities, including our nation’s veterans and servicemembers, and respecting the dignity of all.”
“The United States must remain the leader when it comes to providing opportunities and protections for individuals with disabilities,” said Senator John Barrasso. “This agreement will work hard to ensure all Americans with disabilities are guaranteed these same protections while traveling abroad.”
“America has long been a global leader in recognizing and protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, and ratification of this convention is an essential step to ensuring disabled persons are protected globally,” Senator Chris Coons said. “All people deserve to be granted full and equal basic human rights, regardless of their physical or mental capabilities. I strongly support ratification of this critical treaty, and urge my colleagues to do the same.”
“The United States is a leader in advocating for the empowerment of disabled Americans, including our veterans who have returned home with life-changing injuries," said Senator Tom Udall. “This treaty is an important tool to improve conditions for citizens living and working abroad and ensures that we remain a beacon for fairness and opportunity around the world.”
An American delegation under President George W. Bush negotiated and approved the Convention in 2006. The United States signed the treaty in 2009 and submitted it to the U.S. Senate this May for its advice and consent for ratification. The treaty requires no changes to U.S. laws or new appropriations.