Inclusion Daily Express Logo

International Disability Rights News Service
Click here for today's headlines & home page

Keeping advocates informed, inspired and connected since 1999.
Click here for daily or weekly delivery . . . OR
Try Inclusion Daily Express for ten days FREE . . .

81 Nations Sign Global Treaty On First Day; Advocates Urge U.S. To Sign
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 2, 2007

NEW YORK, NEW YORK--Eighty-one United Nations member countries and the European Community signed on Friday to the first global treaty to protect the rights of the world's 650 million people with disabilities.

The same day, Jamaica and India announced that their governments had voted to ratify the International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. A total of 20 countries must ratify the convention before it goes into force.

After Friday's ceremony, Louise Arbour, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that the commitment from people with disabilities and their allies led to the treaty's rapid adoption.

"It's certainly unprecedented in terms of support for a human rights instrument, but it's apparently setting records for the signature of any convention in the United Nations," she said.

Delegates from more than a hundred countries wrote and negotiated the treaty during meetings held over a period of several years. The treaty, which the U.N. General Assembly approved in December, has 50 articles addressing such issues as a right to be free from forced institutionalization; to own and inherit property; participate in public and cultural life; receive an adequate standard of living; have access to affordable equipment; and to have one's privacy protected. It also calls for eliminating barriers to employment, the environment, transportation, public facilities and communication, and for developing countries to receive help in implementing the treaty.

The United States was not among the signers.

The Bush administration announced in June of 2003 that it would not sign any international treaty protecting people with disabilities from discrimination. U.S. officials said national laws, such as the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, should cover such rights.

The American Association of People with Disabilities is encouraging advocates to contact the White House and members of Congress to pressure the administration to sign on to the treaty.

A petition, written by Disability Nation's Larry Wanger, will be available for supporters to sign throughout the month of April.

"As persons with disabilities, family members, friends and advocates, we call upon our leaders to support this treaty and to continue moving toward a society of equality, fairness and justice for all," the petition reads.

[Note: Today's "Below the Fold" includes links to articles from more than a dozen countries that signed the treaty.]

"Text of Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities" (United Nations)
"A Call to Support the UN Convention on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities" (Disability Nation)
"Urge President Bush to Sign the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities!" (AAPD)

Copyright © 2007 Inonit Publishing
Please do not reprint, forward, or post without permission.

WWW Inclusion Daily Express Archives

Click here for top of this page

Purchase this story for your website or newsletter . . .

Here's what subscribers say about Inclusion Daily Express. . .

Keeping advocates informed, inspired and connected since 1999.
Click here for daily or weekly delivery . . . OR
Try Inclusion Daily Express for ten days FREE . . .

Get your news here!

Inclusion Daily Express
3231 W. Boone Ave., # 711
Spokane, Washington 99201 USA
Phone: 509-326-5811
Copyright © 2007 Inonit Publishing