Washington, D.C. – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement in conjunction with today’s Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD):
“Today’s hearing on ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities sends a signal that the U.S. can once again become a global leader in honoring the dignity of people with disabilities.
Our country benefits from a rich history of disability rights legislation, like the Rehabilitation Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. These laws have served as models for nations around the world and provided inspiration for the creation of the CRPD. Yet we still lag behind the global community in ratifying this treaty.
The CRPD seeks to ensure that countries across the globe provide people with disabilities the same rights as everyone else, in order to live full, satisfying and productive lives.
I am pleased that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is holding this hearing, which provides the opportunity to show that ratification embodies core American values, like the dignity of the individual, access to justice and the right to education.
The U.S. pioneered these basic principles under law and demonstrated that persons with disabilities can be full participants in our democracy. By participating in the CRPD, we are amplifying the message both here and abroad that disability rights are, indeed, human rights.”
Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.