(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement, expressing her strong disappointment after Senate Republicans blocked ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The non-discrimination treaty requires persons with disabilities have the same general rights as those without disabilities. A recent report released by the World Health Organization indicated that over one billion people, or about 15 percent of the world's population, are living with a disability. In the United States this accounts for more than 35 million people, including 775,000 Washingtonians.
“By refusing to ratify this treaty, Republicans are abandoning America’s longstanding leadership in support of our citizens, servicemembers, and veterans with disabilities who travel, study, do business, or live abroad. This is a disappointing day for Americans with disabilities in Washington state and across the country. This treaty embodied the same goals the United States had in enacting the Americans with Disabilities Act - to empower individuals with disabilities to achieve economic self-sufficiency, independent living, and inclusion and full integration into society. Ratifying this treaty would have helped open new markets for American businesses that provide goods and services to persons with disabilities. Yet Senate Republicans chose to put partisanship and politics first. I want to thank the millions of Americans with disabilities, and the hundreds of organizations across the country, who made their voices heard at rallies, in letters or calls, on Facebook, or on Twitter. Your continued advocacy will be absolutely critical in continuing to push for ratification of CRPD.”
The United Nations CRPD is the first international treaty to address disability rights. The treaty covers a broad range of areas including equality and nondiscrimination, women and children with disabilities, equal recognition before the law, access to justice, education, health, employment, accessibility, travel, and housing and personal mobility. The United Nations CRPD was adopted by the United Nations in December 2006. Since then, more than 150 countries have signed the Convention, and more than 120 countries have ratified.