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ACLU Disappointed With Senate’s Failure to Ratify Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union is disappointed with today’s Senate failure to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) with its vote of 61-38.  Two thirds of the Senate is required for ratification of treaties.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the first international human rights treaty intended to protect the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities globally. CRPD extends the values of the Americans with Disabilities Act and improves access for Americans with disabilities that live, work or travel abroad, including veterans. Signed on July 30, 2009 by the Obama Administration, 126 parties have already ratified the treaty, a show of their support and intent to comply with its obligations.

“The Senate has a long bipartisan history of voting to protect and promote the rights of persons with disabilities and we are very disappointed with its failure to ratify a treaty that would have positively impacted so many people,” said Deborah J. Vagins, senior legislative counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. "This treaty articulates principles and goals that no one should oppose – those of inclusion, recognition and respect for human dignity and individual autonomy, accessibility, and the equal enjoyment of rights and fundamental freedoms.”

“Senate failure to ratify the disability rights treaty is a setback to the United States effort to show a good example and claim global leadership on disability rights issues,” said Jamil Dakwar, Human Rights Program director at the American Civil Liberties Union.

A pdf version of the ACLU Letter to the Senate on Ratification of the CRPD is available here:


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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

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