Support the Rights of People With Disabilities!
<> While over 80 countries are now signatories of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified on March 30, 2007, the U.S, as it has with so many international treaties, refused to sign. I have signed this petition, and encourage others to do so, but feel it is necessary to state, lest I contribute to the myth that the U.S. is some great world leader in all that is just and good; that of all the human rights legislation in this country, the ADA is by far the weakest, with the most wiggle room and no enforcement except via lawsuits by those who have been discriminated against. While it may have been a landmark decision when it was enacted, as it pertains to the rights of PWD (people with disabilities) in that prior to its passage, there were NO rights; it is hardly sufficient. It is a weak law with huge loopholes, no enforcement and grave omissions. Furthermore, if in fact the U.S. is a leader in human rights, it is due to the blood, sweat and tears and the insistence of the people of the US, that human rights are essential fabrics of the body politic. Every human rights battle waged in this country has banged up against the brutality and the resistance of the American ruling class and contended with bitter divisions within the working class as we all struggled for crumbs in this land of wealth and plenty. The truth is that the US government, industry and military are hardly the arbiters of human rights, but rather the violators of human rights both nationally and internationally; leading the path of resistance to any significant change, any movement for social justice, and hope for a better life for millions of people worldwide who are simply the cannon fodder, the cogs in the machine of American expansion and corporate greed.
I encourage you all to read the text of the declaration; it is quite significant. (See link below.) Also, scroll down and read how you can join grassroots efforts to support this treaty. Provided below is the text of a resolution passed by the city of Santa Cruz, that can be adjusted for any local government, chamber of commerce (if you can GET your chamber of commerce to support disability rights!) union, political party, church, synagogue, mosque and temple, and stand (or sit) with your brothers, sisters, friends, coworkers and neighbors who have disabilities and support our rights.
Dear President Bush,
History was made on March 30, 2007 when over eighty countries signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at the UN signing ceremony. The fastest negotiated international human rights treaty ever, the Convention has enjoyed unprecedented international support and record-setting numbers of signatures. The Convention not only articulates basic rights of persons with disabilities but focuses on the actions necessary to ensure that these basic rights are more than hollow declarations.
When President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990, he established the U.S. as a world leader in the global fight for the rights of people with disabilities. When he signed the ADA, your father declared, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”
As a result of leadership with the ADA, that wall has been crumbling… bit by bit, and the landscape for people with disabilities has experienced radical transformation here in America. Yet, for most of the more than 650 million people with disabilities worldwide, that wall is as strong as ever. Eighty percent of the world’s disabled live in developing countries, many in destitute circumstances, and they demand the liberation of a transformative law that can point the way toward true equality and full participation in society. The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides an opportunity for those tides of change.
At this most crucial moment, we call upon you to continue the legacy your father began. We call upon you to sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to allow the United States to continue its leadership role as a global champion for the human rights of people with disabilities.
To sign the petition, click here
* Text of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
* Disabled Peoples’ International Online Ratification Toolkit
* Generate local support for the U.S. to sign the Convention
Action Alert: Help Induce US to Sign UN Convention
Date Mailed: Monday, April 2nd 2007 04:45 PM
Action Alert: Help Induce US to Sign UN Convention
Help build bottom-up support for the UN Convention on Human Rights
for Persons with Disabilities
Friday, March 30 was the first day countries around the world had
an opportunity to sign the UN Convention on Human Rights for
Persons with Disabilities – the first international convention
EVER to comprehensively address the rights of people with
disabilities. And while 81 countries did proudly sign at the
signing ceremony in New York City, the United States was not
amongst them despite the U.S.’s historic role as a leader in the
field of disability and human rights!
Let’s get to work to change this!!
You can help generate bottom-up support to help make the case to
the President and the Administration that signing this core
international human rights convention is a must! You can do this
by working right where you are by encouraging your local and state
governmental bodies and organizations to pass supporting
resolutions endorsing the UN Convention on Human Rights for
Persons with Disabilities.
We’re seeing this happen in California, and we’d like to see
similar efforts spread across the country. The City Council of
Santa Cruz, California was the first to take action by passing a
resolution in support of the Convention and now the County of
Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors, and, not to be outdone, the City
and County of San Francisco are working on resolutions, as well.
WHEN TO ACT: Now!
WHO: Get your phone books out and flip to the blue pages in the
front, or go to http://www.whitepages.com. Once on whitepages.com, enter
“Government Offices” under the “Business Category” section, and
then simply enter your city and state. You’ll get quite a list of
Here are some examples of who might be appropriate to contact in
your area to help generate bottom-up support for the UN Convention
on Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities:
1. Local cities, counties, towns, and other municipalities
2. Local, state, and national organizations that focus on civil
and human rights
3. Local disability boards and commissions
WHAT TO DO:
1. Call the offices of these local and state governments,
commissions, boards, and organizations and ask to speak to the
staff person who handles policy matters or public affairs.
2. Tell them:
– You were disappointed that the United States did not sign the
UN Convention on Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities
at the signing ceremony on March 30, and you want to ensure
that they U.S. does sign in coming days.
– You believe they can play a leadership role in making the
case to the President and the Administration that signing the
Convention is entirely consistent with American values and
with the Americans with Disabilities Act by passing their own
supporting resolutions endorsing the Convention.
– Other local governments have begun to do this and you’re
happy to offer them what one City Council wrote as a
resolution as an example (see the Santa Cruz resolution below
as a suggested model).
3. If they are interested in seeing the Santa Cruz resolution as
an example, give them the web address where they can view the
or offer to email them a copy of the Santa Cruz resolution that
is found below (simply cut and paste that portion of the action
alert into an email).
4. Send Sylvia Caras the information of your successful attempts
to make this happen. Email her at email@example.com. Sylvia
is a Representative on the International Disability Caucus
Steering Committee for the North America Region, and she will
keep track of these efforts. We’ll use the information to make
our case to the President and his Administration that the
Convention is widely supported across the country and that the
United States should not delay in signing!
To read the text of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons
with Disabilities, go to:
For more information on the background of the CRPD, why it is
important, how it was negotiated, and the signature and
ratification process, please see the Disabled Peoples’
International online Ratification Toolkit, available here:
EXAMPLE RESOLUTION FOLLOWS:
RESOLUTION NO. NS-
RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SANTA CRUZ
SUPPORTING THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS
WHEREAS, historically, persons with disabilities have been
marginalized, stigmatized and deprived of opportunities and
freedoms afforded to individual without disabilities; and
WHEREAS, on December 13, 2006, the United Nations General
Assembly adopted by consensus a landmark treaty, the Convention
on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to promote and
protect the rights of the world’s 650 million disabled people;
WHEREAS, the Convention was the most rapidly negotiated human
rights treaty in the history of international law; and
WHEREAS, the Convention is the first human rights treaty of the
21st century; and
WHEREAS, the Convention will require ratifying nations “to
promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all
human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with
disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity”
and promote awareness of the capabilities of those who are
WHEREAS, the Convention also requires governments to fight
stereotypes of people with disabilities; and
WHEREAS, the Convention also recognizes that attitudes need to
change if disabled people are to achieve equality; and
WHEREAS, the City of Santa Cruz quickly complied with the
regulations for governments when the Americans with Disabilities
Act was enacted in 1990; and
WHEREAS, in the 2000 Census, 7,800 City residents reported a
disability, which is approximately 15 percent of the City’s
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the City Council of the City
of Santa Cruz that it supports this Convention, endorses
equality of opportunity, and will continue to be responsive to
and inclusive of people with disabilities.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City Council does hereby
authorize the Mayor to communicate the City’s support of the
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to the
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and the Acting U.S.
Representative to the United Nations, Alejandro D. Wolff and
urge ratification of the Convention by the United States .
PASSED AND ADOPTED this 23rd day of January, 2007.
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