150 Countries Ratify Disabilities Treaty–But Not the U.S.

One hundred and fifty nations have now ratified a UN treaty called the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which has been in force since 2008 and has seen one of the fastest rates of ratification of any international human rights treaties.  The Convention states the obligations of participating nations to promote, protect and ensure the equal rights of all people with disabilities in all areas of life.

“The 150th ratification is evidence of the commitment by the international community to promote and protect the human rights of persons with disabilities,” said Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes, who chairs the committee that monitors how nations implement the Convention.  The rapid and widespread ratification of the Convention, according to Cisternas, “highlights the growing awareness that people with disabilities suffer serious gaps in the enjoyment of their rights and that these gaps need to be addressed. . . . This Convention, in force for just six years, has been ratified across all regions and cultures, and is on the way to becoming universally recognized. We call on those states still to ratify to do so,”

Unbelievably, one of those countries she refers to that has yet to ratify the treaty is the United States.  In fact, in the same week that the UN announced the 150th ratification, the vote on ratification in the US Senate was blocked (see story here).  The US signed the treaty in 2009, but Senate approval is needed for ratification and official participation.

The full text of the Convention can be found here.

A brief description can be found here.

Also see my previous blog about the Convention here.


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