Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns Senate Denial of Human Rights Treaty to Protect People with Disabilities as “Irrational and Outrageous”

Categories: Press Releases

For Immediate Release
Contact: Shin Inouye, 202.869.0398,

Washington, D.C. – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after the Senate voted to not ratify of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD):

“Today, the irrational and outrageous opposition of a bloc of Republican senators denied Senate ratification of the CRPD, betraying the U.S.’s historic role as a global leader in fighting discrimination and opening doors of opportunity for people with disabilities. Myth and innuendo drove the opposition to the treaty, and those who voted against it should be ashamed of their actions.

The failure to ratify the CRPD is deeply contrary to our national values and sends a disturbing signal about the U.S.’s commitment to strengthening human rights protections around the world. The CRPD seeks to ensure that countries across the globe provide people with disabilities the same rights as everyone else, so that they may live full, satisfying, and productive lives. The U.S. pioneered these basic principles under law – particularly through the landmark passage in 1990 of the Americans with Disabilities Act — and demonstrated that people with disabilities can be full participants in our democracy. 

The CRPD enjoys broad support from hundreds of organizations, including those representing people with disabilities, veterans, business groups, and the civil and human rights community. The Senate should listen to these voices and vote to ratify the CRPD when it reconvenes next year.”

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