Yesterday afternoon Senator Hatch took to the Senate floor and unprovoked, made a long statement in opposition to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Senator Hatch claims that he supports disability rights, but actions speak louder than words. Taking to the Senate Floor to oppose the disability treaty is a clear sign that he intends to turn his back on people with disabilities both here in the U.S. and around the world.
We need Utah and voices from around the country speaking out against this action. Please move quickly to activate your networks, partners, and members:
Rebuttal Points to Hatch Statement
- Hatch arguments that CRPD is a threat to U.S. sovereignty: With adoption of the recommended Reservations, Understandings, and Declarations (RUDs), ratification of the treaty will not require any changes in any U.S. law or policy nor relinquish any authority whatsoever over U.S. law. The U.S. has held that RUDs are legally–binding.
- Hatch arguments that CRPD would create wide obligations for U.S.: he only obligation the U.S. will have is to provide a periodic report of its implementation of disability rights laws as it has done for decades already for other human rights treaties the U.S. has ratified. The only difference is that the CRPD report will focus on issues that historically have been issues for people with disabilities such as accessibility, independent living and employment.
- Hatch argument that the definition of disability in CRPD is undefined: As was done in Committee last year, the U.S. disability community continues to support RUDs that make it perfectly clear that we use the U.S. definition of disability in understanding the treaty.
- Hatch argument that the definition of disability in CRPD is undefined: Like the ADA, the CRPD recognizes that new disabilities may emerge like autism requiring an evolving concept of our definition. The U.S. evolved its own concept with its ADA Amendments Act – the CRPD simply creates a framework for other countries to do the same.
- Hatch argument that the U.S. does not need to join treaty to lead: Hatch has stated that “America has long been a shining beacon of freedom around the world” yet he is refusing to engage on a treaty that grants freedom to 1 billion people with disabilities around the world.
- Hatch argument that CRPD is not a treaty with nations but the UN: It is nations, not the UN, that are responsible for implementing the treaty, providing guidance to their fellow nations on the treaty, and reviewing implementation of other ratified nations.
- Hatch argument that the CRPD would allow too much UN oversight over U.S. through Committee review: The CRPD Committee that reviews national reports is made up of civilian disability experts who provide guidance and suggestions — the majority of whom are people with disabilities themselves.
Senator Hatch voted for both the ADA and ADA Amendments Act. As the anniversary approaches for the ADA this month it is even more disconcerting that Senator Hatch would take to the floor against the disability rights treaty which extends the ADA to 1 billion people globally. U.S. ratification is led by all of the leaders behind the original ADA because it is creating change around the world for people with disabilities that are isolated, segregated and disregarded because of their disability. Please join disability advocates around the country in contacting Senator Hatch to let him know that standing against the disability community is not an option.