By Jay Ruderman
Rarely have countries the world over banded together and, overlooking their many differences, resolved to do something about discrimination against people with disabilities.
In 2006, the UN Assembly Adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and, in the years since, many countries have gradually ratified this treaty. But it has a long way to go with the 650 million people around the world with disabilities still waiting for equal rights, true protection and equitable access under the law.
Why are disabilities rights and human rights activists so passionate about the convention? In it are provisions to not only protect those with disabilities from abuse and discrimination – all too common problems even in 2012 – but it is also designed to protect their rights in education, housing, healthcare and employment, long areas where they continue suffer a host of injustices in countries around the world.
In the US, the push is at a pivotal point since, although officials signed the convention in 2009, the Obama administration is now asking the Senate to grant final approval of the treaty. The pressure is on because the U.N. is planning to convene a committee in September to oversee the convention and, should Senate approval not be given by then, the U.S. would not be in a position to lead the way.
Please join me letting our senators know how important protecting the rights of those with disabilities is to all of us and those who can not speak up for themselves.
– Jay Ruderman