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On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Harkin Renews Call for Senate to Ratify Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)—Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee and Senate author of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act—renewed his call for the Senate to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

“Since the passage of the ADA, we have made real progress in opening the doors of opportunity to millions of Americans with disabilities, but there is more work to be done,” Harkin said.  “Continuing this work starts with the Senate ratifying the CRPD to reaffirm America’s rightful place as the world leader in protecting the rights of people with disabilities.  This vital treaty would build on the work of the ADA and help to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy equal access around the world. I am hopeful that in working on a bipartisan basis with my colleagues, and by continuing to educate other members on the importance of the treaty, we can get the support we need to ratify the treaty during this Congress.”

An American delegation under President George W. Bush negotiated and approved the Convention in 2006.  The United States signed the treaty in 2009 and submitted it to the U.S. Senate in May 2012 for its advice and consent for ratification; a vote on the CRPD fell five votes short in 2012.  The treaty requires no changes to U.S. laws or new appropriations.