May 15, 2018

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Background

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) sets forth globally accepted legal standards on disability rights and clarifies the application of human rights principles to persons with disabilities. It also serves as an authoritative reference point for the development and refinement of relevant disability law and policy and is intended as an instrument that is cross-disability and applicable across economic sectors. Global implementation of the CRPD will benefit not only citizens of countries that have not previously ensured protection of these rights, but also Americans with disabilities and their families traveling to or working within those countries.

Status

In July 2009, President Obama signed the CRPD. The Administration transmitted it to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification in May 2012. The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations (SFRC) held a hearing on the Convention in July 2012 and later that month reported the treaty favorably to the full Senate by a vote of 13 in favor and 6 against, subject to certain conditions. In December 2012, the Senate voted against providing advice and consent to ratification of CRPD by a vote of 61 to 38. In the 113th Congress, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held hearings on the CRPD on November 5, 2013 and November 21, 2013. On July 22, 2014, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution of advice and consent to ratification for the treaty. However, the treaty was not brought to the Senate floor for a vote and reverted to the SFRC at the end of the 113th Congress.

ABA Advocacy

  • On 7/22/14, the ABA sent a letter to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee urging them to vote in favor of the resolution of ratification.
  • On 11/5/13, the ABA sent a letter to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee supporting CRPD 
  • On 12/13/12, the ABA sent a letter urging Senators to support the ratification of CRPD

  • On 7/24/12, ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, sent a letter to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee expressing full support for CRPD 

Resources

ABA Factsheet (3/15)

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities: Issues in the U.S. Ratification Debate (1/21/15), Congressional Research Service

ABA Action Alert Email (7/29/14)*
*Sample of email sent to Ohio constituents. Emails were also sent to constituents in seven additional states. 

Infographic: "Why Do We Need a Disability Treaty?"

Infographic: "Don't Believe the Myths"

CRS Report for Congress on CRPD (3/4/13) 

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing (7/12/12) 

ABA Resolution Supporting CRPD (2/9/10) 

CRPD Treaty Transmittal Package (5/17/12) 

 

Links and Other Information

U.S. International Council on Disabilities

Senate Foreign Relations Committee

CRPD Treaty Website

U.S. Department of State – Disabilities Treaty