The U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee has just announced that there will be a hearing on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on June 4.
You may remember that this treaty failed to pass in the Senate already last year. As with most things coming out of the UN and other world bodies, the language when read sounds good, but the ramifications are often not thought of. Opponents of this treaty worried that this would give the U.N. oversight of the healthcare and education choices made by parents with special needs kids. CRPD would become the law of the land under the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, and would override state laws, and would give the federal government, acting under U.N., the ability to determine for all children with disabilities what is best for them. It also would give the U.N. discretion over decisions about how we educate our special needs kids, and could potentially eliminate parental rights for the education of children with disabilities.
US Anti-Discrimination and Persons with Disabilities laws in this country already meet or exceed the standards that are set in the UN treaty, so in reality, this treaty would not have any effect on anyone in this country if it were to pass, except by way of having the UN and member nations dictating to US parents on what is in the best interest of their children. This treaty has already been ratified by 126 nations, including China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Syria and Saudi Arabia. It would be laughable if not so serious when one takes an honest look at the human rights violations of some of the nations who have signed on this treaty. How would the US ratifying this treaty help the disabled children in other nations? In two words, it wouldn’t.
Last year, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) came out against the treaty saying, “I will do everything I can to block its ratification, and I have secured the signatures of 36 Republican senators, all of whom have joined with me saying that we will oppose any ratification of any treaty during this lame-duck session.” As he and others had and still have concerns about this treaty’s threat to American sovereignty.
Rick and Karen Santorum worked hard to see this defeated last year. They, the parents of a disabled little girl had a lot of concerns with the language spelled out in the articles in the treaty.
Then Sen. John Kerry, (D-Mass.), a strong proponent of the measure, said the treaty “just says that you can’t discriminate against the disabled. It says that other countries have to do what we did 22 years ago when we set the example for the world and passed the Americans with Disabilities Act.” Proponents of this treaty were quick to point out that it really requires nothing of the United States, only basically ordering the other signatories to update their laws so that they more closely match the Americans with Disabilities Act. If this is the case, then why are the UN and progressives working so hard for the US to ratify it? Why did they try to vote last time during the lame duck session, and why, since it failed to pass are they working so hard to try again?
Progressives claim those of us who opposed it and still do as conspiracy theorists. The Guardian came out with a scathing, vitriolic article which painted anyone who was against this as America’s holy warriors and religious extremists with “international ambitions.” I don’t see how we could be considered having international ambitions when it is not the Christian Conservatives who believe it takes a village to raise a child as we’ve heard progressives claim. Because we see this treaty is a way to solidify that idea, and remove a parent’s rights in determining what is best for their own child does not make us extremist. It makes us aware that there is always a danger in signing away America’s sovereignty piece by piece when our own Constitution protects our Rights more than any other world body government would ever do.
You can find out who voted and how the last time here. Please call and email your two U.S. senators and urge them to oppose the UN CRPD. The Capitol Hill Switchboard is 202-224-3121.