The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The name sounds simple and straightforward enough, right? Who wouldn't support a treaty about the rights of disabled Americans?
But despite its name, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (or CRPD for short) actually threatens our national sovereignty and does little to nothing for Americans with disabilities.
“Ultimately, I’m unable to vote for a treaty that could undermine our Constitution and the legitimacy of our democratic process as the appropriate means for making decisions about the treatment of our citizens."
Under the Constitution, international treaties ratified by the United States become the law of the land -- overruling the US Constitution, federal laws, state constitutions, and state laws. The CRPD also gives the United Nations power to ensure that the United States is complying with the treaty, surrendering sovereignty directly to unelected bureaucrats at the UN.
In addition to undermining our national sovereignty, the CRPD, if ratified by the U.S. Senate, would turn the parent-child relationship on its head by establishing a dangerous new legal standard for dealing with children with disabilities: the best interests of the child standard.
"Children are treated much, much better in the special needs setting whenever their parents have real and certain rights. Those rights are gone if the Senate ratifies this treaty."
In Article 7(2), the CRPD states: “In all actions concerning children with disabilities, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” What this essentially means is that the government and the UN determine what is best for a child, not their parents. Putting a government bureaucrat into all parent-child relationships will never prove to be beneficial for society.
Proponents of the CRPD will often point to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and say that the CRPD contains the same standards as the ADA. But in a recent Townhall.com column, former Senator Rick Santorum, a national leader in the fight against the CRPD, bluntly deals with this falsehood:
The treaty’s supporters tell us that CRPD simply mirrors the Americans with Disabilities Act. Don’t buy that.
Senator Santorum goes on the explain the differences between CRPD and the ADA in his column, which we highly recommend that you take a few minutes to read.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio makes an important point about the path America should follow in the international arena when it comes to the rights of the disabled:
"I believe America's example should lead the way on achieving stronger universal disability rights instead of the United Nations."
US ratification of this treaty has no impact on other nations. Even nations that have already ratified the CRPD are not complying with its terms, and they will not suddenly decide to do so if the United States ratifies the treaty.
In closing, Rick Santorum sums it up well:
"The United States is already the international leader on the protection of disability rights. We don’t need to ratify a flawed U.N. treaty to prove it."
For more information on the CRPD, as well as common misconceptions about the treaty, please visit www.freedomsdefenders.com/crpd. There, you can also email your Senators and donate to help raise awareness about the dangers of this UN treaty. Don't forget to like RejectCRPD on Facebook and follow @RejectCRPD on Twitter as well!
Originally a guest post by our Grassroots Director, Peter B, on the VDP Student Leadership Society Blog. See it here.